Sam was appointed chief executive of Rio Tinto in January 2013, having served as an executive director to the boards of Rio Tinto plc and Rio Tinto Limited since June 2009. Sam joined the company in 1991 following 20 years in the automotive industry during which time he held senior roles with General Motors and Nissan Australia. He has held a number of management positions during his career at Rio Tinto including chief executive of the Aluminium group from 2001 to 2004, chief executive of the Iron Ore group from 2004 to 2009 and chief executive Iron Ore and Australia from 2009 to January 2013.

Sam is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management, and the Australian Academy of Technical Science and Engineering. In June 2010, he was appointed an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia.

Sam was appointed a Trustee of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation in October 2014 and has been a Member of the Council of the International Council on Mining & Metals and a director of The International Council on Mining and Metals (UK) Limited since January 2013.

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