BHP share price: Investors push for external CEO candidate

on Jul 23, 2019
Updated: Sep 16, 2019
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At least three institutional investors in Australia are pushing for BHP (LON:BLT) to consider external candidates to replace Andrew Mackenzie as CEO, Reuters has reported. The news comes ahead of the miner’s full-year results on August 20.

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BHP’s share price has climbed higher in London this morning, having added 0.96 percent to 2,050.00p as of 08:58 BST. The stock is outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index which stands 0.47 percent higher at 7,550.17 points. The group’s shares have added about 32 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a two-percent fall in the Footsie.

Investor pressure on BHP

Sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters that at least three institutional investors in Australia are pushing for Sydney- and London-listed miner BHP to consider external candidates to replace Andrew Mackenzie as new CEO. Two of the sources noted that the topic had gained traction in talks in Perth and Sydney in the past few weeks.

“We are quite firmly of the view that it needs to be an external candidate […] We just don’t see anybody internally that could make a material improvement to the status quo,” one of the three institutional investor sources told the newswire. “They pretty much miss every operational target they set, both in terms of costs and volumes, so it’s very hard to take new project proposals at face value.”

Possible CEO candidates

The investors have pointed to  Nev Power who was instrumental in turning Fortescue Metals into the world’s the world’s fourth-largest – and lowest-cost – iron ore producer in under a decade, or Newcrest’s Sandeep Biswas as possible candidates.

Reuters notes that the three investors together hold less than a combined one-percent stake in BHP, according to Refinitiv data.

According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip group currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating, while the average BHP share price stands at 1,797.50p.

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