Investors Back Leadership Baton Change At BHP

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

Investors and analysts have welcomed the news that BHP has chosen senior executive, Mike Henry as the mining giants next CEO.

That’s despite the shares 2 cents to $36.81 – a modest positive/thumbs up one might say.

Analysts said the news was not unexpected and liked the idea that the company had a sound succession process in place.

He will replace the incumbent, Andrew McKenzie who steps on December 31 and retires next June.

In a statement issued early Thursday morning, BHP said Mr. Henry had been chosen via a succession plan, meaning the company did not look outside for Mr. McKenzie’s successor.

Canadian-born Mr. Henry is head of BHP’s Australian minerals business and has 30 years’ experience in the global mining and petroleum industry, spanning operational, commercial, safety, technology, and marketing roles.

He was appointed to his current role in 2016 and has been a member of the Executive Leadership Team since 2011.

Mr. Henry joined BHP in 2003, initially in business development and then in marketing and trading of a range of mineral and petroleum commodities based in The Hague, where he was also accountable for BHP’s ocean freight operations.

He went on to hold various positions in the Company, including President Coal, President HSE, Marketing and Technology, and Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to joining BHP, Mr. Henry worked in the resources industry in Canada, Japan, and Australia.

Mr. Henry’s pay package includes a base salary of $2.4 million ($US1.7 million) and the potential for a short term cash reward of $1.98 million ($US1.36 million).

Mr. Henry’s long term bonus could be as much as $4.97 million ($US3.4million), or two times the base salary, but is subject to shareholder approval.

Chairman Ken MacKenzie said in the statement: “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. I am confident his discipline and focus will deliver a culture of high performance and returns for BHP. Mike has been a strong advocate for the industry, driving higher standards of safety and a commitment to our local communities and global stakeholders.

“We would like to recognise the outstanding contribution of Andrew Mackenzie to BHP as CEO. Under his leadership, BHP has transformed into a simpler and more productive company, financially strong and sharply focused on value for shareholders. We thank him for his vision and hard work, which has changed the way we operate and engage with the world.”

Outgoing CEO Andrew Mackenzie said: “It has been a privilege to serve as CEO of 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. 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.”

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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