Sir John Buchanan served as a Non-Executive Director of BHP Billiton from 2003 up until the time of his death on 13 July 2015 at the age of 72. He was the Senior Independent Director of BHP Billiton Plc and, for many years, the Chairman of the Remuneration Committee.
BHP Billiton Chairman, Jac Nasser, paid tribute to Sir John’s contribution to the BHP Billiton Board.
“Sir John provided wise counsel to his fellow Directors and to management. He made an invaluable contribution as a Director because of his long standing relationships in the investor community, his strategic approach and his financial and business acumen. His many years of experience gave him great insight and perspective when addressing key governance issues,” Mr Nasser said.
“He was a true gentleman. He was courteous, generous and warm, and I and my fellow Directors will miss him greatly.”
Born in New Zealand, Sir John earned a doctorate in organic chemistry at the University of Auckland before moving to the UK for post-doctoral studies at Oxford. He joined BP in 1970, eventually serving as Executive Director and Group Chief Financial Officer from 1996 to 2002. During this period BP acquired Amoco and Arco.
From 2003, Sir John served on a number of boards including BHP Billiton (Senior Independent Director), Vodafone (Deputy Chairman), AstraZeneca (Non-Executive Director), Smith & Nephew (Chairman) and ARM Holdings (Chairman). He was also Chairman of the UK Trustees of the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal. In 2012 Sir John was knighted for services to industry.
The Board and management of BHP Billiton extend their deepest sympathy to Lady Rosemary and the other members of Sir John’s family.