A TOP-FLIGHT Rio Tinto executive who has recently landed a plum job in London was brought up, educated and worked for some time in Ipswich.
Energy chief executive Doug Ritchie will take on the new role of group executive strategy, with responsibility for business development, on January 1.
He was appointed chief executive of Rio Tinto's Energy group in 2009 and has been with the group since 1986.
Ipswich surveyor Hugh Taylor worked with Mr Ritchie at Rhondda Collieries.
Mr Taylor said Doug Ritchie had grown up at Eastern Heights and attended Ipswich Grammar School.
"From getting married and starting a family while living on Robertson Rd, then working at Rhondda and purchasing a home at Redbank Plains, to the dizzy heights of Rio Tinto - what a career thus far," he said.
Mr Taylor said Doug was the son of Wal Ritchie, the superintendent for Rhondda Collieries.