Marius Kloppers is to step down as CEO of BHP Billiton on 10 May 2013 after nearly six years in the top job, saying it was “the right time to pass the leadership baton”. Andrew Mackenzie, currently the company’s CEO non-ferrous will succeed him. Mackenzie has over thirty years experience in oil and gas, petrochemicals and minerals. He joined BHP Billiton in November 2008.
Kloppers’ retirement follows the resignation of Cynthia Carroll, Anglo American, and Tom Albanese, Rio Tinto, and means that three of world’s major mining companies will replace their CEOs this year. It comes at a time when the mining sector has seen profits slump on the back of declining commodities prices. BHP Billiton became the latest company to announce a significant fall in profits, down 58% in six months to December 2012.
Mackenzie’s experience in the oil and gas sector, including 22 years at BP, could prove important as BHP Billiton struggles with its investment in shale gas producer, Petrohawk Energy, which it acquired for US$ 12.1 billion in 2011. It has since been forced into a multi-billion dollar writedown on its investment. “It is a privilege to be asked to lead one of Australia’s great companies and the world’s leading diversified natural resources company,” he said in a statement.
Written by Jonathan Rowland.
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