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Fortescue chief Nev Power to step down in 2018

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Mr Power, appointed in July 2011, will step down on Feb 16, after almost seven years in the post.

[MELBOURNE] Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, the world's fourth-largest iron ore exporter, said chief executive officer Nev Power will step down in 2018 after almost seven years in the post. The company's shares declined.

The Perth-based producer has "great confidence in the quality of internal and external candidates to continue Fortescue's legacy," Andrew Forrest, founder and chairman, said on Friday. Mr Power, appointed in July 2011, will step down on Feb 16.

Candidates to replace Mr Power likely include chief financial officer Elizabeth Gaines and director of operations Greg Lilleyman, a former Rio Tinto Group executive, according to Peter O'Connor, a Sydney-based analyst with Shaw and Partners Ltd. "Lilleyman would be the favourite, and Gaines is the wildcard," he said.

Fortescue last month boosted dividends and reported full-year profit more than doubled on higher prices to US$2.1 billion. Iron ore has rebounded since mid-June on strong steel demand in China and weaker-than-expected gains in low-cost supply.

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Fortescue shares plunged 4.1 per cent to A$5.57 at 11.59am in Sydney trading, to the lowest in almost a month.

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