Media Relations

April 12, 2011

Copper CEO to Be Honored as Executive of the Year

Freeport-McMoran's Adkerson Will Speak at Event

TEMPE, Ariz. — In these times of extraordinary growth in developing countries, copper is a focal point -- in high demand to help build basic infrastructure. This year, the head of the world’s largest publicly owned copper producer will be honored as Executive of the Year by a national group of prominent executives who advise the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Richard C. Adkerson, president and chief executive officer of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc., will speak about our rapidly changing business climate when he is recognized at an April 14 event. The Phoenix-based company conducts mining operations around the globe, including the world’s largest copper and gold mine in terms of reserves, located in Indonesia. The firm is also the main copper supplier to the United States. Adkerson has been named best CEO in the metals and mining industry by Institutional Investor magazine four years in a row. He is also co-chairman of McMoRan Exploration Co., an oil and gas exploration company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Adkerson sets a positive example through his active involvement in the community and support for education, serving on the boards of directors of the Arizona Commerce Authority, Greater Phoenix Leadership and Greater Phoenix Economic Council, as well as on the advisory boards of two university business schools. He is an advisory council member for the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, a member of the Business Roundtable and The Business Council, the general campaign chairman of the capital fund drive for the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in the Phoenix area and a member of an advisory board of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He also chairs the International Council on Metals and Mining and was recently inducted into the Mining Hall of Fame.

“Richard Adkerson not only leads a very successful global company based in Phoenix, but he also oversaw the smooth integration of Freeport-McMoran and Phelps Dodge during a period of global economic upheaval,” says W. P. Carey School of Business Dean Robert Mittelstaedt. “In addition, he is a great community leader, using his business acumen to help organizations in government, education and health care. His career accomplishments are very impressive.”

The Dean’s Council of 100, which advises the W. P. Carey School, chose Adkerson as its 28th annual Executive of the Year. He follows last year’s honoree, Alan Mulally, the head of Ford Motor Company, who helped vault the automaker forward despite the recession and without accepting any bailout money from the government. The 2009 winner was Mike Ahearn, the head of First Solar, Inc., a leader in creating and promoting affordable solar energy.

Adkerson will accept the award at a luncheon Thursday, April 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale. The event is part of the Economic Club of Phoenix speaker series. The club was founded by the Dean’s Council of 100 as the preeminent Arizona forum for the exchange of ideas about business and the economy.

For more information about the club or to reserve seats, call (480) 727-0596, e-mail or go to

The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is one of the top-ranked and largest business schools in the United States. The school is internationally regarded for its research productivity and its distinguished faculty members, including a Nobel Prize winner. Students come from 99 countries and include 60 National Merit Scholars. For more information, please visit and