BHP's new CEO Mackenzie takes charge amid mining austerity

Andrew Mackenzie, now officially in charge of BHP Billiton, will spend his first day as CEO touring the Yandi iron ore mine in Western Australia's Pilbara region.

Mackenzie has been doing the rounds in Pilbara over the past 24 hours, "meeting some of the estimated 13,000 people who work for BHP in the region," reported Peter Ker Friday morning from Sydney.

The Scot will take the reins during an era of cost cutting and halted expansion, and expectations are that BHP will reduce its number of assets during his tenure.

Mackenzie, 56, began his career as a geologist and organic geochemist.

Before joining BHP in November of 2008, he spent two decades working for rival Rio Tinto and for BP. Until today he was head of BHP's non-ferrous division.


Sources: BHP Billiton; Sydney Morning Herald