SYDNEY, July 12 (Reuters) - Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto said on Thursday Chief Financial Officer Guy Elliott would retire at the end of next year, and that the company would be creating a new position to oversee the group's strategy.
Elliott, a 32-year veteran of the company, was finance director when Rio Tinto made its ill-fated $38 billion takeover of Alcan in 2007. He announced six months ago that he would not take his annual bonus because of that deal, which nearly crippled the company.
A Rio Tinto spokesman declined to comment on whether the company would make an internal or external search for Elliott's successor.
The new position overseeing group strategy and business development will be taken on by Doug Ritchie, currently the head of the group's energy division. Ritchie starts the London-based role Jan. 1, 2013.
Rio Tinto Chief Executive Tom Albanese said the creation of the strategy role for Ritchie "underlines the priority we place on this key area and on continuity of our strategic direction."
Diamonds and Minerals head Harry Kenyon-Slaney will assume the Brisbane-based role of Rio Tinto Energy chief executive from 1 September 2012. He will be replaced by Alan Davies, who currently heads Rio Tinto Iron Ore International Operations and who will also join the executive committee.
Davies will retain responsibility for the Simandou iron ore project while Dampier Salt Ltd will transfer to the Diamonds & Minerals product group from Iron Ore.