Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques and two senior executives will step down following mounting criticism over the company’s destruction of sacred Aboriginal rock shelters.

Rio’s board says Jacques will remain as until March or until a successor is appointed, while the heads of the miner’s iron ore and corporate relations divisions will depart at the end of the year.

“What happened at Juukan was wrong and we are determined to ensure that the destruction of a heritage site of such exceptional archaeological and cultural significance never occurs again at a Rio Tinto operation,” Chairman Simon Thompson says.

Rio investors had expressed dissatisfaction with the findings of a board-led review into how the company legally detonated the rock shelters in Western Australia, which resulted only in cuts to executive bonuses.


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