Mike Henry has been named as the new CEO of BHP. Picture: Supplied
Mike Henry has been named as the new CEO of BHP. Picture: Supplied

BHP names new CEO with Aussie links

BHP has appointed a new chief executive.

Mike Henry, the head of the mining giant's Australian operations, will take over the top job at the nation's biggest company at the start of next year.

Current chief Andrew Mackenzie will stand down from the chief position on December 31 after more than six years in the job, BHP announced this morning.

BHP chair Ken MacKenzie said Mr Henry had the "perfect mix" of on-the-ground operational experience and a proven management track record.

"Mike Henry's deep operational and commercial experience, developed in a global career spanning the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia, is the perfect mix for our next CEO," Mr MacKenzie said.

"Mike has been a strong advocate for the industry, driving higher standards of safety and a commitment to our local communities and global stakeholders."

Mr Henry said he was honoured to lead the company.

"For more than 130 years, through the ingenuity and commitment of its people, BHP has delivered shareholder value while successfully adapting its portfolio, operations and products," he said.

"Today we are even safer, more predictable and more focused."

Mr Henry was born in Canada and holds a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) from the University of British Columbia.

He speaks Japanese.

 

Outgoing BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian
Outgoing BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian

 

BHPs current chief, Mr Mackenzie, has coached the mining giant back into form after the excesses of the mining boom.

He spun off a bunch of unwanted assets into a new mining vehicle South32 and sold out of a disastrous foray into the US shale oil and gas sector.

Costs have been stripped out, driverless trucks and automation introduced and production ramped up to new records.

The Scotsman oversaw BHP's response to the deadly Samarco dam disaster in Brazil that killed 19 people.

He also broke new ground in the mining industry by announcing BHP would help its customers cut their carbon emissions which result from using the commodities the Melbourne-based miner sells them.

Mr Mackenzie said it had been a privilege to lead the BHP.

"Our products are essential to global economic development and we deliver them in a way that creates significant value, for our shareholders, our employees, communities, nations and the world," he said.

"BHP is in a good position. We have a simple portfolio, a strong balance sheet and options to grow value and returns for decades to come."

john.dagge@news.com.au