New South32 board members named

BHP Billiton has revealed the four new non-executive directors for its spin-off company South32.

The company said the initial composition of the South32 board following the proposed demerger will reflect a range of geographical backgrounds including Australia, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

The new non-executive director appointments are Frank Cooper, Peter Kukielski, Futhi Mtoba and Wayne Osborn. They will join the chairman elect, David Crawford and the three previously announced board members, Graham Kerr, Keith Rumble and Xolani Mkhwanazi.

Cooper has more than 35 years’ experience in the accounting profession, specialising in the mining, energy and utilities sector, including most recently as a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Kukielski was executive-in-residence at Warburg Pincus following a long career in the mining industry, most recently as Chief Executive Mining at ArcelorMittal.

Mtoba was chairman of the board at Deloitte Southern Africa, where her industry specialisation was in financial services, while Osborn is currently a Director of Wesfarmers Limited, Iluka Resources Limited and Alinta Holdings Limited and has 35 years of experience in the Australian mining, resources and manufacturing sectors. 

Shareholders will vote in May on the proposal to demerge a number of aluminium, manganese, nickel, silver, lead, zinc and coal assets from BHP into the newly formed South32.

A report out by Credit Suisse has expressed its disappointment at the lack of gender diversity on show on South32’s board.

“We believe gender diversity should be a focus on the initial board, given the company has a blank sheet of paper,’’ Credit ­Suisse said.

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