Ma’aden names former Alcoa Corp executive as new CEO

Saudi Arabia’s Ma’aden has appointed Robert Wilt – a former Alcoa Corp. executive who was most recently chief executive officer of one of Canada’s largest food companies – as its new CEO.

Wilt will become the fourth CEO of the state controlled mining firm in the last two years, replacing the acting CEO since April 2021, Abdulaziz Al-Harbi. Al-Harbi replaced Mosaed Ohali, who was appointed in 2020. He took over from former HSBC banker Darren Davies, who had been in the role since mid-2018.

A management engineering grad from United States Military Academy at West Point, Wilt will be charged with leading Saudi Arabia’s drive to develop up to US$1.3 trillion worth of metals in the mineralogically underexplored country.

Mining has been selected as the third pillar of industry in Saudi Arabia under the Vision 2030 plan to diversify the economy away from oil. Ma’aden was a founding sponsor of the inaugural Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh, which was attended by thousands of international investors, governments and mining corporates earlier this month.

At the conference, Yasir al-Rumayyan – governor of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) – said that Ma’aden is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050. The PIF is a majority owner of Ma’aden.