'Krafty' CIO hire for Rio Tinto

After several months scouring the globe, international mining group Rio Tinto has a new person helming its IT division -- John Becker has joined the company as CIO from food giant Kraft.

update After several months scouring the globe, international mining group Rio Tinto has found a new CIO: John Becker from food giant Kraft.

A senior technology executive and 20-year veteran at Kraft, Becker was last in charge of business transformation at the food group.

Relocating recently from the US, Becker is based at Rio Tinto's Brisbane office, sources close to the company told ZDNet Australia.

Sources said Becker's appointment ends the search for the right tech executive. "This one took some time as it's such a high-profile role," they said.

In a brief interview this afternoon, Becker told ZDNet Australia that he has been enjoying himself since starting in March.

Being a seasoned campaigner, he's also no stranger to large contracts -- last April, Kraft signed a seven year, US$1.7 billion outsourcing deal with EDS.

The outsourcing contract involved the transfer of more than 650 Kraft IT employees to EDS, and covered the management of datacentres, workstations, and desktop services.

Graham Otter vacated his Rio Tinto CIO role at the age of 50.

Rio Tinto recently launched its own channel on YouTube to air corporate videos.

Headquartered in the UK, and listed on the Australian stock exchange, Rio Tinto's major products include aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy products, gold, industrial minerals (borates, titanium dioxide, salt and talc), and iron ore. In addition, it has a presence in North America, South America, Asia, Europe and Southern Africa.

Becker joins the company at a time when Rio Tinto is said to be in competition with BHP Billiton to acquire US aluminium firm Alcoa.