Mr. Ferraro joins BHP Billiton from the Australian law firm Freehills, where he is currently Managing Partner, responsible for the firmís clients nationally. He has been with Freehills for 16 years, having joined the firm in May 1991.
The position will report to BHP Billiton CEO, Marius Kloppers.
Commenting on the appointment, Mr Kloppers said he was pleased to be able to welcome Mr Ferraro to the Company.
"Mike has a strong record of providing strategic commercial and legal advice across a number of industries and on a range of issues. He has a unique mix of legal and investment banking experience that will be a valuable addition to the BHP Billiton team."
Mr Ferraro said he was looking forward to the challenges the role would bring.
"I am delighted to be joining BHP Billiton; this is a great opportunity to work for a globally diverse organisation with a great culture and values. I am very much looking forward to meeting and engaging with a range of the Companyís people, including all of BHP Billitonís lawyers, and the users of the companyís legal services," he said.
Mr Ferraro will take up his position with BHP Billiton on 14 January 2008 and will be based in the Melbourne head office.
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