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Ivan Vella, former chief executive aluminium at Rio Tinto, will join the IGO leadership team as managing director and chief executive officer.

Vella stepped down from his position at Rio in June, but remained with the company throughout the transition process.

However, Vella’s contract with Rio was terminated on November 15. In a statement, Rio said the termination was due to the “failing to follow guidance on acceptable management of confidential information”.

IGO spoke with both Vella and Rio Tinto about the termination, and has confirmed Vella’s future role with IGO remains unchanged.

“Throughout the recruitment process, the board was highly impressed by the alignment of Ivan’s values with those of IGO, and his proven track record as a corporate leader,” IGO chair Michael Nossal said.

“Upon reviewing the full circumstances of this recent situation, the board continues to have confidence in Ivan’s character, integrity and professionalism.

“We are excited to have Ivan join us in the coming weeks and look forward to him leading IGO into its next phase of growth and transformation.”

Vella said he is looking forward to joining the team at IGO.

“I regret the events that led to my early departure from Rio Tinto but, having been passionately dedicated to Rio Tinto for over 20 years of my life, I can confirm that there was no mal-intent,” he said.

“I am now very excited to be joining the IGO team and working together to deliver the full potential of IGO’s purpose.”

Vella will take over from acting chief executive Matt Dusci, who has been leading the team since the sudden passing of managing director Peter Bradford on October 15, 2022.