SYDNEY, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Global miner BHP Billiton's boss Marius Kloppers will retire as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and a director of the company on May 10 and Andrew Mackenzie will replace him as the mining giant's new CEO, the board of BHP Billiton announced on Wednesday.
The news came as BHP Billiton posted a 58 percent fall in first- half net profit to 4.24 billion U.S. dollars due to lower commodity prices, a weak U.S. dollar and the sale of some its businesses.
Mackenzie joined BHP Billiton in November 2008 and has more than thirty years experience in oil and gas, petrochemicals and minerals, the company said.
Mackenzie will move to Melbourne in the coming months before taking up the top job.
BHP reported on Wednesday that its attributable profit excluding one-off items declined 43.4 percent to 5.7 billion U.S. dollars.
The company's underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) dropped 38 percent to 9.8 billion U.S. dollars in the six months to December 31, compared to 15.7 billion U.S. dollars in the previous corresponding period, but slightly higher than analyst expectations.
BHP said it believed the global economy would strengthen over the next 12 months, providing support for commodities demand and pricing.
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