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IGO clears CEO after confidentiality breach

Perth-based IGO (ASX:IGO) has cleared incoming CEO Ivan Vella after he was summarily fired by his former employer, Rio Tinto, over a confidentiality breach.

In a statement early Monday, IGO said its board continues to have confidence in incoming Chief Executive Ivan Vella despite the policy breach during his handover at Rio. IGO said Vella, who will start as IGO CEO on December 11, did not follow all appropriate procedures in relation to confidential information under his control during the handover process at Rio Tinto. Vella has accepted accountability for the breach, and no information is known to have been compromised as a result of his actions, IGO said.

IGO said that following recent media reports (which reported the statement from Rio announcing Vella’s sacking), the Board conducted a review of the facts relating to his departure from Rio, including discussions with Ivan and confirmation of these facts with Rio Tinto.

“Through this review, we understand that during his handover process, not all appropriate procedures were followed in relation to confidential information under his control, and Ivan has accepted accountability for this policy breach. Based on what is known, no information was compromised as a result of his actions,” IGO said.

IGO’s Chair, Michael Nossal, said in the statement that 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. Upon reviewing the full circumstances of this recent situation, the Board continues to have confidence in Ivan’s character, integrity, and professionalism.”

In the same statement, Vella was quoted as saying, “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.”

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