BHP on the hunt for new chief: FT
BHP Billiton has quietly started hunting for a new chief executive in a process that could take one to two years, the Financial Times is reporting.
The newspaper said the process to replace chief executive Marius Kloppers, who has been in the job for five years, was being led by chairman Jac Nasser.
BHP would not comment specifically on Mr Kloppers or media reports, but told Fairfax that succession planning for the CEO and senior management team was an ongoing process.
‘‘BHP Billiton’s board has always ensured that it has a well-integrated, continual succession process in place for our most senior executives," the miner said.
Mr Kloppers led the company through global financial crisis, with BHP weathering the storm with the strongest balance sheet among the biggest global miners.
But he has faced criticism for failing to clinch three major bids he launched - a full takeover of rival Rio Tinto, a merger with Rio Tinto's iron ore business and a bid for Canada's Potash - and for splashing $US17 billion on two shale gas takeovers in the United States just before gas prices slumped.
Mr Kloppers, 50, forewent his bonus for fiscal 2012 after booking $US2.84 billion in charges in August to write down the value of the shale gas assets in the US. Mr Nasser backed Kloppers as CEO that month, saying the company was fortunate to have his leadership.
BHP took on a new chief financial officer earlier this year after CFO Alex Vanselow quit, a decision that was seen at the time as a sign Mr Kloppers was not going to move on anytime soon.
BusinessDay, with wires