BHP Billiton freezes executive pay to cut costs

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The Independent Online

BHP Billiton will freeze the base pay of its top executives this year, as the miner cuts costs in the wake of a hefty writedown in the value of its US shale gas business.

Six weeks after announcing the chief executive Marius Kloppers would forgo his bonus for the year to 30 June, 2012, BHP said his base pay would be frozen this year, along with that of all senior management.

Despite waiving his bonus, Mr Kloppers received $9.82m (£6m) in salary, retirement benefits and a long-term incentive plan – 15 per cent less than the year before. Mr Kloppers said last month he would forgo his bonuses after BHP wrote down the value of its shale gas assets in Arkansas by $2.84bn, 18 months after buying them for $4.75bn. .