Anglo American names new finance director

Melbourne - Anglo American named Fortescue Metals’ Stephen Pearce as finance director, after he lead the drive to slash debt at the world’s fourth-largest iron ore producer.

Pearce, 52, Fortescue’s chief financial officer since 2010 who was promoted to the board in June, will join Anglo in January and take up his new post on April 24, the London-based producer said on Friday in a statement.

Anglo, seeking to reshape its business for an era of lower commodities prices and to cut net debt to less than $10 billion, said in April its current finance director Rene Medori will retire in 2017 after holding the position for 12 years. Pearce is credited with driving Fortescue’s debt reduction programme, cutting the producer’s borrowings by $3.6 billion since July 2015.

Pearce’s “strong relationships with the debt and equity capital markets have proven immensely valuable in his role at Fortescue, as has his work across complex cost and other efficiency performance programmes”, Anglo CEO Mark Cutifani said in the statement.

Perth-based Fortescue, founded by billionaire Andrew Forrest, earlier confirmed the executive will step down at the end of this year and said it will study internal and external candidates to replace Pearce.