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Philip Aiken to Retire from BHP Billiton - J Michael Yeager Appointed as New Group President Energy

Number 11/06

Mr Phil Aiken (currently Group President Energy) has announced that he will retire from BHP Billiton on 31 December 2006. Following a search that started in late 2005, BHP Billiton today announced the appointment of Mr J. Michael (Mike) Yeager to the position of Group President Energy, commencing 26 April 2006.  

Prior to joining BHP Billiton Mike held the position of Vice President, ExxonMobil Development Company, with responsibility for major joint venture projects.  This included 22 projects worldwide, each with capital expenditure of US$500 million or more.  Before this, Mike was Senior Vice President for ExxonMobil affiliate Imperial Oil Ltd where he was responsible for all aspects of their upstream oil and gas business.  Mike also served separately as Vice President-Africa and Vice President-Europe for ExxonMobil Production Company where he was responsible for all producing operations in those regions.  Prior to the Exxon and Mobil merger, Mike held the position of President of US Exploration and Production for Mobil Corporation.

BHP Billiton Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chip Goodyear, said the appointment was a welcome addition to BHP Billiton’s existing Petroleum expertise.

“We are very pleased to have someone with Mike’s strong international petroleum background and deep development and operating capability leading our Petroleum business.

“We have a significant Petroleum project pipeline to develop and operate and Mike has the right combination of skills to lead this part of our business into the next stage of development. Along with our track record of exploration success and our developing gas business, Mike and his team have the opportunity to create real long-term sustainable growth for our company.

“I would like to thank Phil Aiken for his substantial contribution to BHP Billiton.  Phil has led our Energy team through major changes over the last nine years; under his leadership we have moved from being a predominantly Australian based producer to an international energy company with operations in Algeria, Pakistan, Trinidad, the United Kingdom and the Gulf of Mexico.  Phil has also represented the company with our partners and customers around the globe.  He will continue to serve us in this important capacity until his retirement and provide senior representation for BHP Billiton’s activities in London.

Mike will become a member of BHP Billiton’s Office of the Chief Executive (OCE), and will be based in Houston, Texas, USA.  

J. Michael Yeager - Biographical Details


2005 - 2006 Vice President, ExxonMobil Development Company Houston, Texas

Responsible for a worldwide portfolio of major capital development projects including ExxonMobil’s interest in multi billion dollar developments in the Caspian Region.  Other areas of project responsibility include the Gulf of Mexico, West Africa and offshore east coast of Canada.

2004 - 2005 Senior Vice President, Imperial Oil Ltd.
Chief Executive Officer, Imperial Oil Resources Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Responsible for all upstream oil and gas activities in the ExxonMobil majority owned Canadian company. Led key strategy development for the Mackenzie Gas Pipeline.

2003 - 2004 Vice President-Africa, ExxonMobil Production Company Houston, Texas

Responsible for operations in Chad, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Angola.  Responsible for the new start-up operations of the Chad pipeline project as well as major new developments in deepwater Angola.

2000 - 2002 Vice President-Europe, ExxonMobil Production Company London, England

Responsible for ExxonMobil’s large operating units in the United Kingdom, Norway, The Netherlands, Germany and France.  Led major restructuring of operations with Shell in Germany.

1996 - 1999 President, Mobil Exploration and Production, United States Dallas, Texas

Responsible for major heavy oil developments in California, significant gas operations in the mid continent and Rocky Mountains, CO2 recovery in West Texas and all Gulf of Mexico offshore operations. Negotiated and implemented the successful Aera Energy joint venture in California with Shell.  Also responsible for the Mobil exploration effort that, in joint ownership with BP, made the large Thunder Horse field discovery in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.


1976 BS U.S. Naval Academy
1981 MS University of Southern California

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