BHP Billiton reveals board revamp in response to activists Elliott and Tribeca

Oliver Gill
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Melbourne 2006 Queen's Baton Relay: Western Australia
BHP Billiton yesterday caved in to shareholder demands to sell US shale assets (Source: Getty)

BHP Billiton today revealed an overhaul of its board, with a former contender for the mining giant’s chairmanship departing.

A key activist investor that had previously called for change welcomed the move.

Former Origin Energy chief executive Grant King will not stand for re-election as a director, BHP said in a statement this morning.

King was previously touted as a successor to current BHP chair Jac Nasser. But earlier this year fellow board member Ken McKenzie was picked instead.

“Owing to concerns expressed by some investors, Grant King has decided that he will not stand for election at the 2017 annual general meetings of BHP, and will retire from the board on 31 August 2017,” said Nasser.

Read more: BHP Billiton commits to US shale exit

Another director, Malcolm Brinded, will not stand for re-election. Meanwhile, former BP exec John Mogford and Terry Bowen – a finance director at Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers – have been named as non-exec directors. The pair will take up their positions on 1 October.

Shareholder Tribeca, which called for a board shake-up in May, welcomed the announcement, adding it would “like to see more of it for this company in coming months”.

Tribeca and fellow fund manager Elliott have been agitating for personnel and strategic change at BHP for a number of months.

Yesterday, the pair scored a victory when BHP announced it had earmarked its US shale assets for sale.

Read more: Activist investor Elliott raises its stake in BHP Billiton

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