New man to head Billiton’s board
BHP BILLITON named former packaging company head Ken MacKenzie to chair its board, a move supported by the most trenchant critic of the mining giant as it grapples with a mounting challenge from restive investors and slowing growth in top customer China.
MacKenzie, 53, who will take up the role on September 1, replaces the outgoing Jacques Nasser, 69, the world’s biggest mining company said on Friday. The new chairperson was appointed to BHP’s board in September 2016 after more than doubling the market value of Australia’s largest packaging company Amcor in a decade-long spell as chief executive that ended in 2015.
The appointment is “bringing much needed change to the direction of BHP,” billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corporation, which is demanding a corporate overhaul, said. MacKenzie’s tenure at Amcor “displayed strong leadership qualities as he successfully navigated the company through the financial crisis while making difficult decisions to significantly improve shareholder returns,” the hedge fund said.
Montreal-born MacKenzie had already won public support from other investors, who regard him as untouched by previous missteps on shale asset deals. – Bloomberg