CBH appoints former BHP boss Jimmy Wilson to top job

Headshot of Jenne Brammer
Jenne BrammerThe West Australian
Jimmy Wilson.
Camera IconJimmy Wilson. Credit: BHP Billiton

CBH Board has ended its long-running hunt for a new chief executive by appointing former BHP boss Jimmy Wilson to the role.

Mr Wilson succeeds Andy Crane, who will step down in late 2017 after more than eight years in the role. He most recently headed BHP’s Iron Ore division, but lost that position in February 2016 after falling foul of a management reshuffle.

Mr Wilson is among eight current or former employees of BHP facing charges of “qualified homicide” over the Samarco dam disaster in Brazil, which led to the deaths of 19 people in late 2015.

In 2014-15 Mr Wilson earned $US4.1 million ($5.2 million) at BHP, according to the annual report.

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He starts with CBH next week as CEO-elect, formally taking over the role of chief executive at the start of CBH’s financial year on October 1, 2017.

CBH Group chairman Wally Newman said Mr Wilson’s experience was what the board was looking for in a new chief executive for the co-operative — a leader with core strengths in developing, operating and innovating international supply chains.

“The board was seeking a candidate that would drive and shape the next phase of development for our growers’ supply chain, ensuring the organisation is fit to match the fiercely competitive environment of international grain trading and foster the culture required to support this,” Mr Newman said.

Mr Newman said with the co-operative’s current major focus on delivering its $750 million network strategy, Mr Wilson’s proven strengths in extracting efficiencies from integrated operations, driving excellence in capital management, and using innovation and technology to escalate changes in productivity, made him a natural fit for the organisation.

Mr Wilson said the opportunity with CBH presented an exciting challenge.

“I have worked across many different countries, commodities and markets over my career and the shift into grain, while outside the traditional mining and resources sector, has many operational and trading synergies with the industries I have enjoyed working in,” he said.

Over the next two weeks, Mr Wilson will travel to grain-growing regions across WA to attend grower meetings, where he will meet and hear from CBH members.

Dr Crane, who announced his resignation in April, will remain with CBH until November 30 to provide support during the transition phase.

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