Rio Tinto head of M&A to Depart after 25 years

Rio Tinto Group head of mergers and acquisitions Philip Mitchell has left the world’s second-largest mining company, according to two people with knowledge of his departure.

Mitchell, who had the title of head of business development and had been in the role since 2007, left the group last month, the people said, asking not to be identified as his departure hasn’t been made public. He had been with Rio for 25 years. A London-based spokesman for Rio declined to comment. Mitchell couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Tom Albanese stepped down as Rio’s chief executive officer a year ago after the company said it would take $14 billion of writedowns on aluminum and coal takeovers, on top of earlier charges. Sam Walsh has since been appointed CEO and the company has sought to sell assets to bolster its balance sheet and pay down debt.

Rio has written down the valuation of its $38 billion takeover of Alcan Inc. in 2007 by more than half. It has also written down 70 percent of the value of the A$3.9 billion ($3.5 billion) purchase of Mozambique coal producer Riversdale Mining Ltd., less than two years after completing it.