Ex-Rio Tinto chief heads up Qantas

The Chairman of Qantas Airways Limited, Ms Margaret
Jackson, today announced that Leigh Clifford would replace her as Chairman
of Qantas when she retired at the conclusion of the Qantas AGM in November
  Mr Clifford will fill a casual non-executive Director vacancy on the
  Qantas Board with immediate effect.

  “My fellow Directors and I are pleased that someone of Leigh’s
  international standing has accepted our invitation to join the Qantas

  “I am personally delighted to be passing the mantle of Qantas Chairman
  to someone of Leigh’s calibre and look forward to working closely with
  Leigh to ensure a smooth transition on my retirement,” Ms Jackson said.

  Mr Clifford stepped down from the board of Rio Tinto and retired as
  Chief Executive on 30 April 2007.

  His executive and board career with Rio Tinto has spanned some 37 years,
  including positions as Director of Rio Tinto plc and Rio Tinto Limited
  for 13 and 12 years respectively. Mr Clifford also occupied a wide
  variety of operational and marketing roles in the coal and metalliferous
  operations of the Group in Australia and overseas.


  “As Chief Executive Officer of Rio Tinto plc since April 2000, Leigh has
  led the company through a period of significant growth, including a
  number of important acquisitions and the consolidation of Rio Tinto’s
  position in Asia,” Ms Jackson said.

  Mr Clifford has served as a non-executive director of Barclays Bank plc
  since October 2004 and was appointed to the Bechtel Board of Counselors
  in May 2007. He was formerly a member of the Coal Industry Advisory
  Board of the International Energy Agency for a number of years and its
  Chairman from 1998 to 2000. He was also previously a director of
  Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.

  Mr Clifford holds a Bachelor of Engineering and a Master of Engineering
  Science from the University of Melbourne.

  Mr Clifford said that he was honoured to be selected as the new Chairman
  of Qantas.

  “I have watched the aviation industry and Qantas over the years and have
  great admiration for Qantas and the team at Qantas. I have given the
  invitation a great deal of thought and am enthusiastic about working
  with Margaret Jackson, the Board and management through a smooth
  transition period and leading the Board as its Chairman from November,”
  Mr Clifford said.

  Mr Clifford will return to Australia permanently in November, after
  completing his commitments with Rio Tinto.