BHP Billiton appoints new chairman

LONDON: BHP Billiton, the world's biggest miner, said on Tuesday that Jac Nasser, former chief executive of US automaker Ford, will become its new chairman next year.

"The BHP Billiton board today announced that Jac Nasser will succeed Don Argus as chairman when Mr Argus retires as Chairman and a non-executive director in early 2010," the mining group said in a statement.

Nasser, 61, had joined the BHP board as a non-executive director in 2006 and is also a member of the board's Risk and Audit Committee.

He is also a partner of JP Morgan's private equity arm One Equity Partners, a director of British pay-TV broadcaster BSkyB, and sits on the international advisory board of Allianz.

"Jac Nasser will make an excellent successor to Don Argus as chairman," said BHP senior independent directos John Buchanan, who chaired the board that oversaw the selection process.

"He combines deep international business knowledge along with outstanding financial, senior management and board experiences. The board looks forward to Jac leading the group as chairman."

Nasser worked for Ford Motor Co. for 33 years. He lives in the United States, but a BHP spokeswoman said that he had undertaken to spend most of his time in Australia after taking the job.