Cheung, a non-executive director of the board since 2009, will have an expanded role in providing leadership and guidance for RUSAL’s growth strategy, especially in China and the rest of Asia.
The board of directors also ruled to conduct a comprehensive review of corporate governance with the results to be presented at the next board meeting in April 2012. Additionally, the firm wants to have one third of the board comprised of independent directors and will start a search for new INEDs with a help of an international executive search firm.
The question is whether Cheung's appointment will shore up the confidence of investors after this week's broadside by Vekselberg, who together with partner Len Blavatnkik owns 15.8% of the company. The company's market capitalisation has nearly halved since it floated in Hong Kong in early 2010, and its equity value barely exceeds its $11bn debt burden.
Cheung, is currently chairman of the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange, Chairman of the Board of Hong Kong's Urban Renewal Authority, and the Standing Committee on Disciplined Services Salaries and Conditions of Service. He is also Alternate Chairman of the Pay Trend Survey Committee, a member of the Commission on Strategic Development and a member of the Standing Commission on Civil Service Salaries and Conditions of Service.