Rio Tinto's chief financial officer and long-serving board member Guy Elliott will step down from his post at the end of 2013.
Rio chairman Jan du Plessis said Mr Elliott, who joined the Anglo-Australian resources giant in 1980, had decided to retire.
Mr Elliott left his investment banking career to join Rio Tinto, rising up through the ranks to be appointed chief financial officer in 2002.
"Guy has enjoyed an outstanding career during his 32 years at Rio Tinto, which includes 10 years on the board," Mr du Plessis said on Thursday.
"I would like to thank him on behalf of the board for his invaluable contribution, particularly in recent years as he helped steer the group through the global financial crisis and back to a position of financial strength."
Mr Elliott was appointed chief financial officer after having stints in Rio's marketing, operations and strategic planning divisions.
He drew anger from shareholders after Rio's notorious $US40 billion purchase of Alcan in 2007, which left Rio with mountains of debt.
Mr Elliott will continue in his role until a successor is appointed.
News of his planned departure came as Rio Tinto on Thursday announced a range of other executive changes.
Energy chief executive Doug Ritchie has been appointed to the new post of group executive strategy, with responsibility for group strategy and business development.
Diamonds and Minerals chief executive Harry Kenyon-Slaney will replace Mr Ritchie as energy chief executive.
Iron Ore International Operations president Alan Davies will take over from Mr Kenyon-Slaney.
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