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BHP announces appointments to Executive Leadership Team

BHP Chief Executive Officer Mike Henry has announced new appointments to the Executive Leadership Team (ELT). The appointments include two new roles (Chief Technical Officer and Chief Development Officer) to support the company’s ambition to become safer, lower cost and more productive, and to develop a portfolio that is fit for the future with opportunities for long-term growth.

Ragnar Udd will become President Minerals Americas, effective 1 November 2020. Mr Udd will be accountable for BHP’s copper operations in Chile including Escondida and Spence, the Jansen potash development option, and non-operated joint ventures in copper, iron ore and coal. Mr Udd brings more than 20 years of global experience in operations and leadership in Australia and North America, including as Asset President BMA and Vice President Technology Global Transformation. He is currently BHP’s Acting Chief Technology Officer, where he has realigned the global technology function, reduced costs and refocused priorities to better support BHP’s operational assets. Daniel Malchuk will leave BHP at the end of CY20.

Laura Tyler will become Chief Technical Officer, effective 1 September 2020. Ms Tyler is a current ELT member as BHP’s Chief Geoscientist. In her new role, she will be responsible for minerals exploration, health, safety and environment, centres of excellence, technology and the BHP Operating System. These consolidated accountabilities will support operational excellence and growth through sharper focus, accelerated impact and more streamlined support to BHP’s assets. Ms Tyler will be tasked with securing options in future-facing commodities through exploration, and for improving safety, sustainability, reliability and productivity. She will relinquish her concurrent role as Asset President Olympic Dam, with a replacement to be announced.

Caroline Cox will become Chief External Affairs Officer, effective 1 November 2020. Ms Cox will be accountable for the legal, governance, ethics and  compliance, assurance, and corporate affairs functions. Ms Cox is currently BHP’s Group General Counsel and Company Secretary. Since joining BHP in 2015, she has advised on major transactions and projects, global governance, ESG and legal matters, and BHP’s social value strategy. Geoff Healy will leave BHP at the end of CY20.

Johan van Jaarsveld will become Chief Development Officer, effective 1 September 2020. Mr van Jaarsveld is currently Group Portfolio Strategy and Development Officer. In this newly elevated role, he will continue to be responsible for acquisitions and divestments, securing options in future-facing commodities through early stage commercial entry, and strategy.

As a result of these changes, the Executive Leadership Team will comprise:

  • Chief Financial Officer, David Lamont (from 1 December 2020)
  • President Petroleum, Geraldine Slattery
  • President Minerals Australia, Edgar Basto
  • President Minerals Americas, Ragnar Udd (from 1 November 2020)
  • Chief Commercial Officer, Vandita Pant
  • Chief Technical Officer, Laura Tyler, (from 1 September 2020)
  • Chief Development Officer, Johan van Jaarsveld, (from 1 September 2020)
  • Chief External Affairs Officer, Caroline Cox, (from 1 November 2020)
  • Chief People Officer, Athalie Williams

Mr Henry said: “This team has the operational depth, commercial acumen, and global perspective to deliver on BHP’s purpose. We will build on BHP’s strong foundations to deliver attractive value and returns for shareholders and other stakeholders.”

“We will accelerate delivery of the priorities we have set: safety and sustainability, operational excellence, and more options in future-facing commodities, underpinned by capital discipline, a commitment to social value and continued focus on people and culture.”

As previously announced, Peter Beaven will continue as Chief Financial Officer until 30 November 2020. David Lamont will commence in that role on 1 December 2020.

Mr Malchuk and Mr Healy will continue in their current roles until 31 October 2020 and work closely with Mr Udd and Ms Cox respectively to ensure a smooth transition.

Mr Henry said: “Danny and Geoff have made significant contributions to BHP. Our company is stronger because of their leadership and achievements.”

“Under Danny’s leadership, Minerals Americas has achieved record operational performance at Escondida, advanced the Spence copper growth project and laid strong foundations at our Jansen potash development option. Danny has also overseen the transition of our Chilean operations to renewable power and desalinated water.

“Geoff has made BHP a safer and more sustainable company through his leadership of our health, safety and environment effort. He strengthened BHP’s approach to risk management, and has led BHP’s drive to increase transparency and our engagement on important issues including climate change, social value and indigenous affairs. Through his leadership, Geoff has significantly enhanced BHP’s external reputation and set new standards for us to build on.

“Having contributed so much to our company and for our shareholders, and having stayed on to lead through the COVID-19 pandemic, Danny and Geoff are now passing the baton to their successors. I thank them for their support, counsel and friendship, and wish each of them and their families the very best.”

Replacement roles and other leadership appointments will be the subject of separate announcements.

Biographies of new Executive Leadership Team members

Ragnar Udd

BAppSc (Mining Engineering), MEng, MBA

Ragnar has more than 20 years’ experience in the global resources industry, including in Australia and North America, and brings strong operational and leadership experience.

He joined BHP in 1997 and has held a number of senior leadership positions across operations, logistics, projects, infrastructure and technology. In 2015, Ragnar was appointed BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Asset President. He served as president of the Queensland Resources Council from 2016 to 2019.

From late 2018, Ragnar was BHP’s Vice President Technology Global Transformation. He was appointed Acting Chief Technology Officer in December 2019, and in that time has realigned the global technology function, reduced costs and refocused priorities to better support BHP’s operational assets. Prior to joining BHP, he held other roles in the base metals industry.

Laura Tyler

BSc (Hons), Geology; MSc, Mining Engineering

Laura joined BHP in 2004. She has more than 25 years’ international experience in mining working across operations spanning civil engineering, open pit mining, underground mining, smelting and refining.

Laura has been a member of BHP’s ELT since 2017 as BHP’s Chief Geoscientist, responsible for the company’s global geoscience and engineering teams. In addition to that role, in 2018 she was appointed Asset President of Olympic Dam, one of the world’s most significant polymetallic orebodies producing copper, uranium, gold and silver. Laura has lifted Olympic Dam’s safety and culture performance, increased the focus on reliability and advanced the asset’s integrity program.

Prior to this, Laura was Chief of Staff to the CEO for BHP, Asset President of the Cannington Mine in Queensland, and held technical and operational roles at the EKATI Diamond Mine in Canada and corporate HSEC in London. Before joining BHP, she worked for Western Mining Corporation, Newcrest Mining and Mount Isa Mines after starting her career in the British civil engineering industry.

Johan van Jaarsveld

BChemEng, MAppFin, PhD (Extractive Metallurgy)

Johan is BHP’s Group Portfolio Strategy & Development Officer, a role he has held since he joined BHP in 2016 from Barrick Gold, where he served as Senior Vice President Strategy & Business Development.

Johan has broad global experience, having held leadership roles with Blackstone Group on strategy and deal execution, and at Goldman Sachs focused on metals and mining. Johan has worked with global investment banks across Asia including Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers where he focused on M&A, equity and debt solutions with global clients in the industrial and resourcing sectors.

Caroline Cox

BA (Hons), MA, LLB, BCL

Caroline is BHP’s Group General Counsel and Company Secretary. She was appointed General Counsel in March 2016, and was further appointed Group Company Secretary in March 2019, reporting to the Chairman and CEO. Caroline joined BHP in 2015 as Vice President Legal.
In her time with BHP, Caroline has provided independent advice on all major projects and global transactions including the sale of US onshore shale assets, advised the Board and management on governance, ESG and legal matters, and contributed to the development of BHP’s social value strategy.
Prior to BHP, Caroline was a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills specialising in cross-border transactions, disputes and regulatory investigations.