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Nev Power to step down as Fortescue CEO

Simone Ziaziaris  |  15 Sep 2017Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  

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SYDNEY - [AAP] Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) Nev Power will step down in February after seven years in charge of the mining company.

The world's fourth-biggest iron ore exporter said Mr Power's decision was consistent with its long-term succession plan to enter a period of growth in other business opportunities.

"We could not be more pleased with his stewardship and respect his decision that it is time for the next chapter of Fortescue to begin," chairman Andrew Forrest said on Friday, revealing the company had already begun screening internal and external candidates.

Mr Power said he had been thinking about leaving for a while but wanted to ensure the end of year results had been completed prior to making a decision.

He plans to take a break from the corporate world and "kick along" with private interests, including helping his son on the cattle station.

"I sense it is the right time for Fortescue and for myself," Mr Power said adding that the longest time he had had off since beginning his career at the age of 15 had been three weeks.

"It has been a very long time that I have been working, it seems, full-bore.

"I am looking forward to taking some time off and taking some time to work on a few personal business interests."

Mr Power said he will continue to work with Mr Forrest and Fortescue's board to help manage the transition to a new chief executive and hopes to continue to be associated with, and to support, the company.

He said the company was in great shape and on an "enormous trajectory" with a "brighter than ever" future.

The news of his departure comes only weeks after Fortescue sharply lifted its dividend and promised to sustain higher payouts for shareholders as a rebound in iron prices and lower costs helped it more than double full-year profit to $US2.09 billion ($A2.64 billion) for the year to June 30.

The board declared a final dividend of 25 cents a share, up from 12 cents last year, resulting in a full-year payout of 45 cents a share--far higher than its target ratio of 30 to 40 per cent of net profit.

At 1315 AEST on Friday, Fortescue shares were down 23.5 cents, or 4.04 per cent, at $5.575, in a lower market.

 

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