MELBOURNE, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Top global miner BHP Billiton has started hunting for a new chief executive in a process that could take one to two years, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
The newspaper said the process to replace Chief Executive Marius Kloppers, who has been in the job for five years, was being led by Chairman Jac Nasser.
BHP declined to comment on the specifics in the report, but said succession planning was an ongoing process and a key task for the board.
“BHP Billiton’s board has always ensured that it has a well-integrated, continual succession process in place for our most senior executives,” the company said in a statement emailed to Reuters.
Kloppers led the company through global financial crisis, with BHP weathering the storm with the strongest balance sheet among the biggest global miners.
But he has faced criticism for failing to clinch three major bids he launched -- a full takeover of rival Rio Tinto , a merger with Rio Tinto’s iron ore business and a bid for Canada’s Potash Corp -- and for splashing $17 billion on two shale gas takeovers in the United States just before gas prices slumped.
BHP took on a new chief financial officer earlier this year after CFO Alex Vanselow quit, a decision that was seen at the time as a sign Kloppers was not going to move on anytime soon.