BHP turns to Australian mining veteran Cutifani in search for new boss

Miner Anglo American’s chief executive Mark Cutifani has reportedly declined an offer to become boss of BHP, as the world’s largest mining company prepares for life without Andrew Mackenzie at the helm.

Sources close to the matter told Bloomberg that BHP favours an internal solution to replace Mackenzie as CEO, although they are open to external candidates and twice approached 60-year old Australian mining veteran Cutifani this year, failing in both attempts.

62-year old Mackenzie has led BHP since 2013 but speculation surrounding his departure has been mounting for some time. The CEO saw his pay shrink by almost a quarter this year after an employee was killed at one of BHP’s Queensland mines.

Meanwhile, Cutifani has cultivated a glowing reputation for himself in the mining industry since taking the top job at Anglo American in 2013, leading an impressive turnaround from the commodity price crash of 2015 and 2016.

A series of cost-cutting measures imposed by Cutifani have taken Anglo American back to a position of growth and reduced the firm’s debt of around $13 billion four years ago to $3.4 billion in the first half of this year.