Australian based mining giant, BHP Billiton saw revenues drop 14% in the second half 2012 to $32.2bn and profits fall from $15.5bn to $6.5bn.

CEO Marius Kloppers is to leave the post which will be taken over by Andrew Mackenzie in May. Mr Mackenzie is currently head of base metals BHP Billiton.

Mr Mackenzie is expected to concentrate on cost savings rather than expansion following the slow-down in demand for iron ore, in particular from China.

Marius Kloppers moved from Rio Tinto in 2007 to take up the CEO post at BHPB but failed to pull off several large deals in his period of office, notably a $150bn bid to take over his old firm, Rio Tinto and later Canada’s largest potash producer which failed to gain approval from the Canadian authorities. He did manage to acquire US shale gas producer Petrokawk Energy for $12.1bn in 2011 but the assets of this were written down a year later.

Marius Klopper is not the only CEO of mining giants who has had to step down recently. Rio Tinto’s CEO Tom Albanese stepped down in January and was replaced by iron ore chief executive Sam Walsh. This followed Rio Tinto writing down $14bn of assets in its 2012 results relating to its acquisition of coal mines in Mozambique last year ($3bn) and the aluminium producer Alcan in 2007 ($10-11bn).

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