(Bloomberg) — BHP Group has talked to Anglo American Plc Chief Executive Officer Mark Cutifani about running for the top job at the company, according to people familiar with the matter.
BHP made the approaches earlier this year and again more recently, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the process is confidential. Cutifani rebuffed the company’s advances so far, they said. BHP favors an internal hire, but also wants to speak with external candidates, the people said. Spokesmen for Anglo and BHP declined to comment.
Cutifani has said in previous interviews he planned to stay until Anglo finished its $5 billion Peruvian copper project Quellaveco, which may start production in 2022, by which time he will be in his mid-60s.
There has been speculation for years about who might take the reins of BHP, the world’s biggest mining company, once Andrew Mackenzie steps down. Analysts have expected that Mackenzie, 62, could make an exit in 2020, by which time he would have held the job for seven years.
BHP Chairman Ken MacKenzie, no relation to the CEO, has favored the idea of promoting an executive to the top job, which he views as less risky, according to the people. Current front-runners are Peter Beaven, the chief financial officer, Mike Henry, head of Australian operations and Daniel Malchuk, who runs the Americas business.
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