"Do we look like boring people? I think we do," said Rio Tinto boss Jean-Sebastien Jacques in reply to an analyst who pointed out how his predecessor Sam Walsh took great pride in making the mining giant boring.
That was in August. But Jacques' job of delivering on that promise is proving to be much harder than first anticipated.
"Shell shocked" was the term he used to describe the state of the company after it informed authorities around the globe of $US10.5 million ($13.5 million) in irregular payments made to a consultant as Rio finalised access to the prized $US20 billion Simandou project in Guinea.
"Many people across Rio Tinto are still shell shocked," Jacques said in an internal memo. "The day I was made aware of a potential issue we launched an investigation. It wasn't a decision we took lightly. We will fully co-operate with the authorities. Their investigations may take several years."
The payments were made to Francois de Combret in 2011 for assisting negotiations with Guinea's President Alpha Conde.
Emails uncovered by Rio shows that its chief executive at that time, Tom Albanese, knew of the payment, as did his successor, Walsh, who was in charge of Rio's iron ore unit at that time.
Jacques replaced Walsh in the top job earlier this year.
Rio terminated the employment of two of its 10 most senior executives on Thursday over the matter.
Alan Davies, who had been a rival to Jacques for the CEO job this year, and Rio's legal boss, Debra Valentine, had their contracts terminated on Thursday after Rio found that "the executives failed to maintain the standards expected of them under our global code of conduct".
Rio said that this decision by the Jan du Plessis-led board "does not pre-judge the course of any external inquiries into this matter".
Yet Rio's careful managing of the scandal came unstuck on Thursday when Davies subsequently issued a bombshell statement saying the miner had "no grounds" for terminating his employment.
"Rio Tinto has made no effort to abide by due process or to respect my rights as an employee and it has given me no opportunity to answer any allegations," Davies said in an emailed statement.
"This treatment of me and my past and recent colleagues is totally at variance with the values and behaviours of the company to which I have devoted my professional life."
It sounds like a potential lawsuit, on top of investigations across three continents and he has only been in the job four months.
The Business Council of Australia held its night of nights on Thursday evening at the venue of choice for the Liberal Party's post-election gathering – the Sofitel Wentworth Sydney.
Following the usual procedure, the entire BCA board – including Wesfarmers' Richard Goyder, Qantas boss Alan Joyce, the Commonwealth Bank's Ian Narev, and Coca-Cola's Alison Watkins – had to get in early for the AGM and formal handover of the chair from Catherine Livingstone to Grant King.
Narev would no doubt have been very attentive to Livingstone, who will soon be Narev's new chairman at the Commonwealth Bank, while NAB boss Andrew Thorburn would have watched from the cheap seats.
And King would have had the perfect opportunity to start mending fences with Canberra.
The local member for Wentworth, someone by the name of Malcolm Turnbull, was among the luminaries attending.
The ever reliable West Australian Finance Minister Mathias Cormann was also due to wave the party flag alongside cabinet secretary Arthur Sinodinos and "best minister in the world" Greg Hunt.
Anthony Albanese was flying the Labor flag and probably swapping Donald Trump jokes with Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe.
The real McCrae
And how could we miss the final mention of colourful mining legend, Wayne McCrae, in Cudeco's annual report.
He might have departed as Cudeco's executive chairman in July last year, but it was still proved to be a pretty good innings for McCrae despite the fact he only worked three weeks of it.
He copped a salary of $433,000, termination payments totalling $251,727, and appears to have cashed out another $188,645 of long service leave.