BHP on the hunt for new CEO?

BHP Billiton may be looking for a change in leadership as it starts the process of looking for a new CEO.

According to the Financial Times it has started the process to replace chief Marius Kloppers.

While BHP has yet to comment specifically on the reports, it has stated that it is in early stages of succession planning for the CEO and senior management, adding that it is an ongoing process for the company.

Kloppers has now led the company through two of the worst downturns the Australian mining industry has ever seen, as well as the largest boom it has ever gone through.

However he has faced criticism for the company's handling of FIFO issues in Queensland, the ongoing union battles, its shale gas mis-steps, and the failed merger with Rio Tinto's iron ore operations in the Pilbara.

This comes only weeks after fellow mining giant Anglo American announced the stepping down of its CEO Cynthia Carroll.

She had led the company since 2007, the same year that Kloppers stepped into the top position.

Some in the industry are pointing to the new succession planning as a forward move to ensure that BHP is not left in the same position as Anglo, which is currently on the back foot in the hunt for a new CEO.

“A board should discuss succession the moment they appoint the CEO,” an industry executive familiar with BHP told the FT.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.