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BHP Billiton’s old iron ore strategy and development vice-president Chris Campbell has been hired to take over the miner’s government, media, and corporate relations.
The move marks a deviation for BHP, which usually looks for political insiders to fill the role.
49-year-old Campbell will take up the new job on January 30 after wrapping up his previous role.
Campbell started with BHP in 1989 and has a background primarily in market and business development.
Last year he was reshuffled within BHP as the company worked on its failed merger with Rio Tinto.
Campbell has a science degree from New Zealand’s Canterbury University and also holds marketing and management qualifications.
With BHP fighting a number of public battles against the carbon tax, mining tax, and Fair Work Act, the public affairs portfolio will be a busy role.
Campbell replaced former Australian Labor Party insider David Epstein, who has also worked in a similar role at Qantas.
Epstein resigned in October after working for 13 months in BHP’s public affairs.