NEW YORK Marius Kloppers is to retire as chief executive officer of BHP Billiton Plc, the latest in a line of FTSE-listed mining firms to see a change at the helm. He will be succeeded by the companys nonferrous head, Andrew Mackenzie.
Kloppers will leave his role May 10 and retire fully from the group Oct. 1.
Kloppers leaves the firm a safer and stronger company, BHP Billiton chairman Jac Nasser said in a statement.
Marius was appointed ceo just prior to the global financial crisis. Despite an exceptionally difficult economic environment during his tenure, Marius and his team have delivered for shareholders, significantly outperforming our peers in terms of total shareholder returns, Nasser said. He drove new investments into next-generation opportunities, including U.S. onshore gas and liquids, and created one of the most valuable companies in the world.
The past several months have seen announcements of the planned departures of Tom Albanese, chief executive officer of London-based Rio Tinto Plc (amm.com, Jan. 17); Mick Davies, chief executive officer of Zug, Switzerland-based Xstrata Plc (amm.com, Sept. 21); and Cynthia Carroll, chief executive officer of London-based Anglo American Plc (amm.com, Oct. 26).
Kloppers said that his decision to retire was a difficult one, and that finding the right time to leave was never going to be easy.
However, after almost 20 years with BHP Billiton, 12 as a senior executive and nearly six as ceo, I believe now is the right time to pass the leadership baton, he added.
Mackenzie, who joined London-based BHP Billiton in November 2008, has more than 30 years of experience in oil and gas, petrochemicals and minerals. He has held senior positions at London-based BP Plc and Rio Tinto.