BHP unveils new management lineup, petroleum boss Yeager quits

SYDNEY, April 18 Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:15pm EDT

SYDNEY, April 18 (Reuters) - BHP Billiton said on Thursday that petroleum boss Michael Yeager would leave the company next month, as incoming Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie stamps his authority on the company with a new senior management lineup.

BHP said Yeager, who had been touted as a potential successor to outgoing CEO Marius Kloppers before Mackenzie was tapped for the job in February, would retire on July 2.

Yeager will be replaced as president of petroleum and potash by Tim Cutt, currently head of diamonds and specialty products.

Nickel boss Alberto Calderon, who had been another contender for the top job, will leave the group's management committee but will remain as an adviser to Mackenzie, BHP said.

Ferrous and coal head Marcus Randolph, a third internal candidate who is currently on sick leave and not expected to return to the company until the middle of the year, will leave the management committee on May 10.

"The composition and structure of the team reflects my commitment to a relentless focus on the safe execution of BHP Billiton's strategy," Mackenzie, who officially takes the reins from Kloppers on May 10, said in a statement.

The company also revealed details of Mackenzie's salary, saying he would receive a base salary of US$1.7 million per year with a short-term incentive target of 160 percent of the base, with a maximum opportunity of 240 percent. His long-term incentive award for 2013 is pegged at 400 percent of the base value.

The reshuffle announcement comes a day after BHP, the world's No. 3 iron ore miner behind Vale SA and Rio Tinto Ltd , said production rates were nearing 200 million tonnes a year, and maintained its guidance for fiscal 2013 output of 183 million tonnes.

Marketing and technology head Mike Henry, chief financial officer Graham Kerr, and people and public affairs president Karen Wood remain on the management committee, which BHP said would ensure a strong balance of existing and new membership of the team.

They will be joined by iron ore boss Jimmy Wilson, copper president Peter Beaven, new coal head Dean Dalla Vale, new aluminium, manganese and nickel boss Daniel Malchuk, chief legal counsel Geoff Healy and group company secretary Jane McAloon.