Jacques Nasser is a leading global business executive who currently serves as Chairman of the Board of BHP Billiton. After serving as a Director of BHP Billiton Limited and BHP Billiton Plc since 2006, Mr. Nasser was appointed Chairman of both companies effective March 31, 2010.BHP Billiton is a global leader in the resources industry, formed from a merger between BHP and Billiton.
Following a 33 year career with Ford in various leadership positions in Europe, Australia, Asia, South America and the US, Mr. Nasser served as a member of the Board of Directors and as President and Chief Executive Officer of Ford Motor Company from 1998 to 2001. Mr Nasser’s other directorships and offices (current and recent) include:
• Director of Newscorp’s British Sky Broadcasting Ltd (since November 2002)
• Non-Executive advisory partner (since March 2010) of One Equity Partners 'JPMorgan Chase & Co's Private Investment Business' (Partner from November 2002 until March 2010)
• Member of the International Advisory Council of Allianz Aktiengesellschaft (since February 2001)
• Former Director of Brambles Limited (from March 2004 to January 2008)
Mr. Nasser was born in Lebanon, raised in Australia and graduated in business from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne. He speaks English, Arabic, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Career at Ford
In 1968, at the age of 20, Nasser joined Ford as an analyst in its Australian unit. In 1973, he joined the company's global financial staff, transferring to Ford's North American Truck Operations. He returned to Australia and worked as a manager of financial analysis and product programming. He later joined Ford's International Automotive Operations. In 1987, he became vice president for Autolatina, a joint venture between Ford and Volkswagen in Brazil and Argentina. He also headed up Ford's operations in Australia. He was promoted to the Chairman of the Board of Ford Europe, to Vice President of Ford Motor Company in 1993, Group Vice President of global product development in 1994. In 1996, he headed Ford Automotive Operations. On 1 January 1999, he became CEO of Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan.
He served as president and chief executive from January 1, 1999 to October 2001. The way he contended with Firestone tire recalls, eroding confidence in the Explorer sport-utility vehicle, as well as poor business performances, led to his departure from the company.
Following his 33-year, global career with Ford Motor Company, Nasser joined One Equity Partners, the private investment arm of JPMorgan Chase. There, he led a number of deals, including the sale of the iconic global brand, Polaroid. In addition to Chairing the Board of BHP, he serves on the Board of News Corporation's British Sky Broadcasting, and is on the International Advisory Council of Allianz.
In its press release announcing his appointment, BHP Billiton cited John Buchanan, the board's senior independent director, saying: "Jac Nasser will make an excellent successor to Don Argus as Chairman. He combines deep international business knowledge along with outstanding financial, senior management and board experiences. The Board looks forward to Jac leading the Group as Chairman." The company added that the decision to appoint Nasser was agreed by the Board following an 18 month selection process. The international recruitment firm, Heidrick & Struggles, was engaged as independent adviser by the Board to assist the Board in its deliberations and consideration of both internal and external candidates. KPMG supported the final process as scrutineer. According to The Times, "Mr Nasser's appointment gives the Anglo-Australian miner access to a range of new contacts in the business world, particularly on Wall Street.
In recognition of his work for industry, as an adviser to government, and for education in the area of technology, he was awarded an Order of Australia and a Centenary Medal. He was also awarded the Order of the Cedars (Lebanon). In 2008 he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for outstanding contributions to American Society.