BHP Billiton shares slide as CEO retires

<p>The boss of BHP Billiton is the third major mining boss to step down in three months.</p>

BHP Billiton has become the third FTSE 100 mining giant to change its chief executive in as many months, as the industry steels itself for a prolonged period of sluggishness.

Former BP executive Andrew McKenzie will replace chief executive officer of the resources producer Marius Kloppers, who has headed the company for nearly six years.

The Scot will take on his new role in early May when Mr Kloppers retires.

His decision to round off his career at the head of BHP Billiton follows news Anglo American's boss Cynthia Carroll is stepping down, while Tom Albanese resigned from Rio Tinto in January.

Mr Kloppers – whose salary was cut from $11.6 million (£7.5 million) to $9.8 million – is not expected to receive a lump sum pay package.

Last year, BHP Billiton reported first-half profits were down by 43 per cent to $4.7 billion as a result of the decline in iron ore and other commodity prices.

At 15:20 GMT, shares in BHP Billiton fell by two per cent to 2188.00p per unit.

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