MENTORS

Jan du Plessis

Jan du Plessis

Raised near Cape Town, Jan du Plessis started his career as a Chartered Accountant and joined the South African Rembrandt Group, before being transferred by them to London and later on to Switzerland to work in financial and legal functions.

In 1988 he became Group Finance Director of Richemont, a diversified Swiss holding company. When he resigned from that role sixteen years later the group had been significantly restructured into the second biggest luxury goods group in the world. 

From 1990 to 1996 he also held the additional role of Group Finance Director of Rothmans International plc, at that time a FTSE 30 subsidiary company of Richemont.

Board Mandates

Mr du Plessis has been Chairman of Rio Tinto since April 2009, having been appointed as Non-Executive Director in September 2008.

In June 2017 he joins the Board of BT Group plc as a Non-Executive Director and Chairman-Elect.

In July 2015 Mr du Plessis became Chairman of SABMiller plc until October 2016, having previously joined that board as a Non-Executive Director and Chairman-Elect in September 2014.

In 2008 he became a Non-Executive Director of the retailer Marks & Spencer and then the Senior Independent Director in March 2012, until he resigned from the board in March 2015.

In 2005 he became Chairman of RHM plc, one of the UK's leading food producers, and in that capacity led its transition from private equity ownership to public company, until the recommended take-over of RHM by Premier Foods in March 2007.

Mr du Plessis was a Non-Executive Director of Lloyds Banking Group from October 2005 to April 2009, taking on the role of Audit Committee Chair towards the end of that period.

In 1999 he became a Non-Executive Director of British American Tobacco, prior to occupying the Chairmanship of that company from May 2004 to October 2009.

Download this bio as a pdf file

chairman mentors