SA-born BHP Billiton CEO Marius Kloppers has found a supporter in chairman Jacques Nasser. The Wall Street Journal reported that Nasser said the mining giant is lucky to have him.
Speaking at a gathering in Melbourne, Nasser reportedly said the management team was strong, and that he wouldn’t choose to swap it.
Kloppers (50) has been CEO of the world’s biggest natural resources group for the past five years, and criticism of his performance has intensified of late – particularly following massive writedowns of its US shale gas and Australian nickel assets. Kloppers waived his annual bonus, but it wasn’t enough to quiet critics, who cite his botched plan to merge with Rio Tinto and the failed bid for the Canadian group Potash Corp.
BHP Billiton decision to cut projects in Australia has also not won him fans Down Under.
“How did it happen? One day you’re a boy wonder and the next you’re publicly struggling to hold onto your job. Marius Kloppers, BHP Billiton’s man of iron, is suddenly reduced to a rubbery figure sitting atop an increasingly dull-looking corporation,” writes James Kirby in the Australian publication Business Spectator.
He goes on to list the “seven deadly sins” committed by Kloppers, including overpromising. He is also accused of micromanagement that borders on the neurotic, insisting that employees tidy their desks every evening and only have one single photo in their workspace. Read the article here: http://www.businessspectator.com.au.
Kloppers started his career at Sasol after graduating from the University of Pretoria and receiving a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also has an MBA from INSEAD.