Show Hide image

BHP Billiton names new CEO

Andrew Mackenzie will replace Marius Kloppers.

The Anglo-Australian mining group BHP Billiton has named Andrew Mackenzie, head of non-ferrous metals division, as its new chief executive.

Mackenzie, who joined the company in 2008 from Rio Tinto, will replace Marius Kloppers, who will step down in May 2013 after serving the company for almost 20 years.

Jac Nasser, chairman of BHP said that Kloppers had left BHP a safer and stronger company. “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 added.

Kloppers said: “I’ve been very fortunate to lead one of the world’s great resource companies. Deciding the right time to retire was never going to be easy. However, after almost 20 years with BHP Billiton, 12 as a senior executive and nearly six as chief executive, I believe now is the right time to pass the leadership baton.”

For the six months ended 31 December 2012, BHP reported a 43 per cent fall in underlying earnings to $5.68bn.

In the recent times, four London-listed mining groups viz: BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Xstrata have made management changes.

The company started the search for a chief executive in 2012.

Show Hide image

No, David Cameron’s speech was not “left wing”

Come on, guys.

There is a strange journalistic phenomenon that occurs when a party leader makes a speech. It is a blend of groupthink, relief, utter certainty, and online backslapping. It happened particularly quickly after David Cameron’s speech to Tory party conference today. A few pundits decided that – because he mentioned, like, diversity and social mobility – this was a centre-left speech. A leftwing speech, even. Or at least a clear grab for the liberal centre ground. And so that’s what everyone now believes. The analysis is decided. The commentary is written. Thank God for that.

Really? It’s quite easy, even as one of those nasty, wicked Tories, to mention that you actually don’t much like racism, and point out that you’d quite like poor children to get jobs, without moving onto Labour's "territory". Which normal person is in favour of discriminating against someone on the basis of race, or blocking opportunity on the basis of class? Of course he’s against that. He’s a politician operating in a liberal democracy. And this isn’t Ukip conference.

Looking at the whole package, it was actually quite a rightwing speech. It was a paean to defence – championing drones, protecting Britain from the evils of the world, and getting all excited about “launching the biggest aircraft carriers in our history”.

It was a festival of flagwaving guff about the British “character”, a celebration of shoehorning our history chronologically onto the curriculum, looking towards a “Greater Britain”, asking for more “national pride”. There was even a Bake Off pun.

He also deployed the illiberal device of inculcating a divide-and-rule fear of the “shadow of extremism – hanging over every single one of us”, informing us that children in UK madrassas are having their “heads filled with poison and their hearts filled with hate”, and saying Britain shouldn’t be “overwhelmed” with refugees, before quickly changing the subject to ousting Assad. How unashamedly centrist, of you, Mr Prime Minister.

Benefit cuts and a reduction of tax credits will mean the Prime Minister’s enthusiasm for “equality of opportunity, as opposed to equality of outcome” will be just that – with the outcome pretty bleak for those who end up losing any opportunity that comes with state support. And his excitement about diversity in his cabinet rings a little hollow the day following a tubthumping anti-immigration speech from his Home Secretary.

If this year's Tory conference wins the party votes, it’ll be because of its conservative commitment – not lefty love bombing.

Anoosh Chakelian is deputy web editor at the New Statesman.