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Marius Kloppers to retire, Andrew Mackenzie to become CEO

The Board of BHP Billiton today announced that Marius Kloppers will retire as Chief Executive Officer and a Director of the company on 10 May 2013 and that Andrew Mackenzie, will succeed him and join the Board on that date. Marius will retire from the Group on 1 October 2013.

Andrew, 56, is BHP Billiton’s Chief Executive Non-Ferrous. He has over thirty years experience in oil and gas, petrochemicals and minerals. He joined BHP Billiton in November 2008. Andrew has a doctorate in Chemistry and a first-class degree in Geology.

In making the announcement BHP Billiton Chairman Jac Nasser acknowledged the outstanding contribution Marius Kloppers has made to the growth of BHP Billiton:

“Marius was appointed Chief Executive 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. He drove new investments into next generation opportunities including US onshore gas and liquids and created one of the most valuable companies in the world.

“He leaves BHP Billiton a safer and stronger company. In succeeding Marius, Andrew brings a unique combination of deep industry knowledge and global management experience to the CEO role. Andrew held senior positions in BP and Rio Tinto before joining BHP Billiton in 2008. He has led our Non-Ferrous division for the last five years working across four continents with responsibility for over half of our 100,000 people.

“Our succession planning process has served the company well for over a decade. Today’s announcement is a result of that planned and considered process.”

“The Board has decided that Andrew is the right person to lead BHP Billiton in a changing global environment,” said Mr. Nasser.ndrew said he was honoured by the appointment.

“When Marius offered me the chance to join BHP Billiton I jumped at the opportunity. It is a privilege to be asked to lead one of Australia’s great companies and the world’s leading diversified natural resources company. I look forward to working closely with Marius during the transition and building on his legacy including continuing the focus on our strategy of owning and safely operating large, low cost, long life assets diversified by commodity, geography and market.”

“I am grateful that the Board’s succession process will allow me, together with Marius, to spend the next two months meeting with and listening to our people, our shareholders, and the many other stakeholders that contribute to our Company’s success.”

Mr. Kloppers said his decision to retire was difficult.

“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 twenty years with BHP Billiton, twelve as a senior executive and nearly six as CEO, I believe now is the right time to pass the leadership baton.
“I am very proud of the achievements of our Company and our people. One of the first decisions I made when I became CEO was to bring Andrew into BHP Billiton, and I look forward to working closely with him, the Board and the management team during the transition,” Mr. Kloppers said.

Andrew will be based at the Group’s headquarters in Melbourne, Australia. He and his wife Liz will move to Melbourne in the coming months.

BHP Billiton also today reported results for the half year ended 31 December 2012 including Underlying EBIT of US$9.8 billion and Attributable profit excluding exceptional items of US$5.7 billion and an interim dividend of 57 US cents per share (see separate press release dated 20 February 2013 for further details).

Details of Andrew’s employment contract, including the remuneration arrangements, will be announced before he commences in the role. Leaving arrangements for Marius are governed by the terms approved by shareholders and will be announced at the date of his retirement as CEO.

Further information on BHP Billiton can be found at: www.bhpbilliton.com.

(Picture of www.bhpbilliton.com)