(CNN) -- Marius Kloppers was born in South Africa on August 26, 1962.
Marius Kloppers, CEO of BHP Billiton
He obtained a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pretoria in South Africa and a PhD in Materials Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S.
He began his career in South Africa, working in petrochemicals with Sasol and in materials research with Mintek. After receiving an MBA from Insead in France, he worked as a management consultant with McKinsey & Co in the Netherlands.
Kloppers joined Billiton Group in 1993 as a core member of the team that created the Group's aluminum business, assuming a variety of operating and functional positions including General Manager, Hillside Aluminum, and Chief Operating Officer, Aluminum.
Prior to the formation of BHP Billiton, he also acted as Chief Executive Samancor Manganese and Group Executive of Billiton Plc, responsible for its coal and manganese businesses.
He played a central role in the merger of BHP and Billiton, as Chief Marketing Officer and then Chief Commercial Officer before being appointed Group President, Non-Ferrous Materials and an executive Director of BHP Billiton Limited and BHP Billiton Plc in January 2006.
Kloppers was appointed Group Executive and Chief Executive Non-Ferrous in July 2007 and has been Chief Executive Officer of BHP Billiton since October 2007.
He now lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife Carin and their three children, Noni, Reuben and Gabrielle.