Jan du Plessis

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Jan Petrus Du Plessis
Born Jan du Plessis
(1954-01-22) 22 January 1954 (age 63)
South Africa
Nationality South African/British
Alma mater University of Stellenbosch
Occupation Businessman
Years active 1975–present
Title Chairman of Rio Tinto Group
Chairman of SABMiller
Term 2009–present
Successor Incumbent
Board member of Lloyds TSB, Rio Tinto Group, SAB Miller

Jan Petrus du Plessis (born 22 January 1954[1]) is the non-executive Chairman of Rio Tinto Group plc,[2] and a non-executive director of the Lloyds TSB Group.[3] Du Plessis was placed tenth in The Times 2006 Power 100,[4] a list which rates the most powerful people in British business. Jan will become Chairman of BT in 2017.[5]

Early and personal life[edit]

Du Plessis, an Afrikaner,[6] grew up near Cape Town, South Africa.[2] He studied at the University of Stellenbosch for degrees in commerce and law, and is also qualified as a chartered accountant in his home country.[2] He has dual British and South African citizenship and lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife.[1] Although he was once a prominent figure in the tobacco industry, du Plessis has never smoked.[1]


Du Plessis worked in various management positions in the South African Rembrandt Group from 1981, and in 1988 he became Group Finance Director of Compagnie Financière Richemont.[2] He also held the same position at tobacco manufacturer Rothmans International between 1990 and 1995.[3] When Rothmans International was merged with British American Tobacco in 1999, du Plessis became a non-executive director on that board.[4]

In April 2004, du Plessis left his position at Richemont to take on the role of non-executive Chairman at British American Tobacco.[7] In June 2005, he was appointed non-executive Chairman of the UK food business RHM.[2] In October of the same year, du Plessis joined the board of directors at the Lloyds TSB Group as a non-executive director.[8]

Du Plessis is also a member of the governing body of the International Chamber of Commerce UK.[9]

In March 2009 it was announced that he would be the new chairman of mining group Rio Tinto.[10] In 2014 he was appointed to the board of SAB Miller and July 2015 took over as the chairman.[11]

On 9th March 2017, BT announced that du Plessis would be taking over as Chairman from November 2017.


  1. ^ a b c Interview, Smoking Special Report, Simon Bowers, The Guardian, 11 June 2005, retrieved 28 March 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d e Board of Directors, British American Tobacco. Updated January 2007, retrieved 28 March 2007.
  3. ^ a b Directors, Lloyds TSB Group Information. Retrieved 28 March 2007.
  4. ^ a b The Times Power 100 (du Plessis at position 10). The Times, November 2006, retrieved 28 March .
  5. ^ The Times Power 100: Do you Know who Really Runs Britain's Boardrooms?, PR News, 7 November 2005, retrieved 28 March 2007.
  6. ^ The new elite, review of Who Runs This Place?, The Observer, 28 March 2004, retrieved 28 March 2007
  7. ^ Jan du Plessis appointed Chairman of British American Tobacco, Richemont press statement, 10 November 2003, retrieved 28 March 2007.
  8. ^ Lloyds TSB Group appoints new non-executive director, Lloyds TSB Group press statement, 21 September 2005, retrieved 28 March 2007.
  9. ^ Members Of The Governing Body, ICC United Kingdom, retrieved 28 March 2007.
  10. ^ http://www.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idUSTRE52G2BT20090317?feedType=RSS&feedName=businessNews
  11. ^ http://www.drinksint.com/news/fullstory.php/aid/4653/SABMiller_appoints_non-executive_director_chairman_designate.html