Longtime Freeport-McMoRan leader James Moffett dies of Covid-19 complications

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Posted at 8:50 AM, Jan 12, 2021

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.

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