Vanselow is set to leave the firm at the end of February and will be succeeded by Graham Kerr, who is currently the president of diamonds and specialty products.
In another promotion, marketing head Mike Henry will join the company’s group management committee as chief marketing officer, reporting to chief executive Marius Kloppers and based in Singapore.
BHP Billiton said Vanselow, who joined the company in 1989 and rose to his top management position in 2006, was leaving to pursue personal business interests.
Kerr is set to take up the position of CFO from the start of 2012, and will be working in Melbourne rather than his previous base of Vancouver. Another BHP Billiton stalwart, he has been with the company since 1994, though he briefly worked for another resources company from 2004-2006.
The firm said that, following company policy, any awards given to Vanselow under its five-year incentive plan will be reduced to reflect his period of service up until his departure date.
“Those awards must be held for the duration of the performance period and will only vest if the performance hurdles are satisfied,” it stated.
The company added that Vanselow would not be given any such award for the 2012 financial year.