BHP Group said on Thursday it has appointed Vandita Pant as its new chief financial officer, as part of a major reshuffle of its top executives from March 2024.
Pant, based in Singapore as chief commercial officer, joined BHP in 2016 and has previous experience in banking roles across India, Singapore, Japan and the Britain including with ABN Amro and Royal Bank of Scotland.
Pant will replace current chief financial officer David Lamont who will remain with BHP until February 2025 as a senior executive officer in an advisory and projects capacity.
“The great thing about BHP is that it just has good bench strength. Their succession planning is immaculate,” said Brenton Saunders, a portfolio manager at Pendal Group in Sydney.
“I could always see Vandita was destined for bigger things as is Johan van Jaarsveld,” he said. “The exit of David Lamont after three years feels premature relative to the normal tenure that senior executives have in this kind of organisation.”
The world’s biggest listed miner logged its weakest annual profit since 2020 in August as prices receded in its most profitable iron ore division, reflecting a soft patch in China’s property sector.
It is banking on growth in Canadian potash and has recently shored up copper with its $6.4 billion buy of Australia’s Oz Minerals as it shapes its portfolio to gain exposure to the energy transition.
BHP is also still backing nickel used in electric vehicle batteries, as a key growth pillar despite a production explosion in Indonesia that has hammered prices.
Van Jaarsveld, now chief development officer, has been appointed chief technical officer, replacing Laura Tyler who will leave BHP at the end of February after almost 20 years.
Current President Americas Rag Udd has been appointed chief commercial officer, while iron ore division chief Brandon Craig will move across to lead BHP’s Americas division.
“These new appointments ensure that we continue to build organizational capacity, with the right mix of skills, experience and perspectives to deliver BHP’s strategy and pursue our growth agenda,” CEO Mike Henry said in a statement.
(By Melanie Burton and Sameer Manekar; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Chris Reese and Jamie Freed)