Phoenix-based mining giant Freeport-McMoRan Inc.’s former longtime CEO and Chairman James Moffett has died after contracting Covid-19. He was 82.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate reported that Moffett’s son, Bubba, said he died of Covid-19 complications after being ill for several years.
Moffett, a Louisiana native who was known as “Jim Bob,” started out as an oil wildcatter and co-founded McMoRan Exploration Co. in 1969 with Mack Rankin Jr. and Ken McWilliams. That company was originally headquartered in New Orleans.
In 1981, Moffett oversaw McMoRan’s merger with New York-based Freeport Minerals Co. and kept the headquarters in New Orleans. That company became Freeport-McMoRan, moving to Phoenix in 2007 and becoming one of Arizona’s largest public companies and a Fortune 500 fixture.
He served as CEO of the company from 1984 to 2003 and as chairman from 1984 until he stepped down in 2015.