Another major Fortescue resignation as renewable battery boss Judith Judson stands down

The Nightly
Andrew Forrest and Judith Judson.
Andrew Forrest and Judith Judson. Credit: LinkedIn

Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue has reportedly lost another executive, this time a key figure in the company’s nascent green energy division.

Judith Judson, the chief executive of Fortescue Zero, is said to have left the role after just 12 months in the job.

Fortescue Zero was previously called Williams Advanced Engineering, an offshoot of the British Formula 1 team Williams.

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The business was bought by Fortescue for $334.8 million in 2022 and specialises in developing renewable battery technology.

Fortescue is yet to respond to The Nightly’s queries.

Ms Judson’s purported departure follows a laundry list of resignations, particularly among female executives, across the top ranks of Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue empire.

On Thursday The West revealed that Julie Shuttleworth — currently Fortescue’s director of global growth — had left the business.

Ms Shuttleworth was appointed as the first boss of Fortescue Future Industries in August 2020 and served in the role until August 2022.

Prior to that she was the deputy chief executive of Fortescue at a group level and had been general manager of the Cloudbreak and Solomon iron ore mines.

In her most recent role, Ms Shuttleworth had a focus on Fortescue’s development of an iron ore mine in the African country of Gabon.

In January the chief financial officer of Fortescue’s energy division, Deborah Caudle, exited after serving in the role for about four months.

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and former Northern Territory chief minister Michael Gunner also formally left the Fortescue empire this year.

In 2023 the list of resignations was headlined by the inauspicious departures of Fiona Hick, who after six months as Fortescue’s chief executive resigned her post on August 28. She was followed by Christine Morris, who spent just three months as chief financial officer before her departure was announced three days later.

Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor Guy Debelle resigned from his position on the board of Fortescue Future Industries not long after.

This came after a suite of other departures in 2023 including Fortescue chief financial officer Ian Wells exiting in January, followed by non-executive director Jenn Morris in June, and Fortescue Future Industries chief financial officer Felicity Gooding in July.

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