Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines to stand down as iron ore giant begins green transition

Fortescue Metals Group has announced that its CEO Elizabeth Gaines will stand down as the company ramps up its transition from a pure play iron ore miner into a vertically integrated green energy and resources group.

One of Australia’s most prominent female executives, Gaines will remain as non-executive director on the FMG board and as Fortescue’s global green hydrogen ambassador, continuing her association with the company which began with a board role in 2013.

She then took on the chief financial officer role in 2017 before becoming CEO a year later. “I am delighted that the chairman, Andrew Forrest AO, has invited me to remain on the board,” Gaines said.

“The opportunity to continue to contribute to Fortescue and serve our shareholders is a unique privilege and I look forward to building on my nine years with Fortescue.”

Fortescue’s non-executive chairman Forrest paid tribute to Gaines when announcing the company’s transition. “Elizabeth is one of Australia’s truly inspiring leaders.

“We are grateful that she has accepted the critical role of ensuring the world understands that green hydrogen, green ammonia, green energy and all its products, are combined, the only practical implementable solution to global warming that can be delivered on a commercial, highly sustainable basis,” he said.

Since founding Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) in 2018, Forrest and its chief executive Julie Shuttleworth have travelled around Australia and the world promoting its plans to help move the world to green hydrogen.

In recent months, Fortescue has signed a number of deals with energy companies and governments for green hydrogen developments, as it looks to drive down carbon emissions globally.