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New BHP chief shuffles execs to shed management layer

Keywords: Tags  Andrew Mackenzie, BHP Billiton, Mike Yeager, Tim Cutt, Alberto Calderon, Daniel Malchuk, Marcus Randolph, Dean Dalla Valle Peter Beaven

SINGAPORE — Weeks before Andrew Mackenzie takes over as chief executive officer of global miner BHP Billiton Plc, the company has announced a major senior management reshuffle that brings operations closer to the top office.

The heads of five divisions—copper, iron ore, coal, petroleum and potash, and aluminum, manganese and nickel—will be part of the group management committee that reports directly to the chief executive officer.

Head of petroleum J. Michael Yeager will retire from the company July 1, and Tim Cutt will take over as president of the company’s petroleum and potash division.

Alberto Calderon will move out of his role as group executive and chief executive for aluminum, nickel and corporate development, but he will remain as advisor to the chief executive officer. Daniel Malchuk, currently president of minerals exploration, will assume responsibility for assets under the aluminum, manganese and nickel division.

Marcus Randolph, group executive and chief executive officer for ferrous and coal, will leave the group management committee May 10. Dean Dalla Valle, currently president of energy coal, will take charge of BHP’s coal assets with the consolidation of the metallurgical and energy coal businesses.

Peter Beaven, currently president of the base metals division, will be president of the copper business, a role which will include all his current responsibilities for the assets under the former base metals business.

Jimmy Wilson will remain in charge of iron ore.

"The removal of a layer of management brings the operations closer to the chief executive officer and ensures alignment between strategic and managerial leadership," Mackenzie said. The new management will continue to focus on capital discipline, he added.

Meanwhile, BHP announced that the new chief executive officer’s base salary would be $1.7 million per year, lower than the $2.2-million base salary of outgoing chief executive officer Marius Klopper. "We believe that some downward rebasing at this time is appropriate, a view that is supported by Andrew," chairman Jac Nasser said.

London-based BHP saw its fiscal first-half profits fall 58 percent, which it attributed to lower commodity prices and inflation, among other factors (, Feb. 20).

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.

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