Behind Fortescue’s government revolving door

Comparatively talking, it’s nonetheless a maturing start-up, based 20 years in the past by a passionate entrepreneur who achieved the unthinkable by breaking into the iron ore duopoly managed by BHP and Rio Tinto.


However no matter what number of gifted individuals it employs and the titles bestowed on them, Fortescue is finally ruled by Forrest.

Over the previous 10 years as a profitable iron ore miner, it had grow to be financially robust and predictable.

However the beginning of its renewables division, now funded from the proceeds of iron ore, has created an organization with two personalities.

Crunching two cultures collectively is a tricky name – even for somebody with Forrest’s salesman expertise.

As essentially the most senior government at Fortescue and its chairman, Forrest has to handle each side.


To say Forrest’s life is chaotic is a wild understatement. Promoting the risks of climate-led disaster and convincing buyers of the constructive economics of inexperienced hydrogen is a full-time job for Forrest who jets around the globe promoting his message throughout whistle-stop excursions and photo-ops with the globe’s strongest individuals.

Doing all this whereas working a $60 billion iron ore firm with greater than 10,000 staff stretches anybody’s consideration ranges.

It’s nearly a yr since former Fortescue chief government Elizabeth Gaines introduced she was stepping down from the function.

However after an in depth recruitment course of, there may be nonetheless no signal of a substitute, and based mostly on Forrest’s feedback at Fortescue’s shareholder assembly this week, he’s in no hurry handy over the manager reins to another person.

As for the Forrest-curated Fortescue board, the departure of Debelle (no matter whether or not it was well being points that led to the choice) ought to function a reminder that they’re there for all shareholders.

In Forrest, Fortescue has loads of management – but it surely should even be organised.

Roles and obligations want clear definition and element is vital.

Forrest has confirmed himself an adept collector of expertise. However he must discover a approach to retain it.

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