Is Yeager BHP's next boss?

BHP's petroleum boss is a potential successor to Marius Kloppers, but his chances largely hinge on a jump in US gas prices, which would reverse perceptions of the company's mistimed shale acquisitions.

The longer BHP Billiton takes to choose the successor to chief executive Marius Kloppers, the better the chances should be for petroleum boss J Michael Yeager to take the role.

Both men are bound by the poor timing of the mining giant’s $US20 billion ticket to the US shale gas revolution. The pair paid for it with their short-term bonuses, which they volunteered and the board accepted.

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