Vincent Maphai, BHP Billiton South Africa

2nd April 2004

Full name: Vincent Maphai

Position: Chairperson BHP Billiton South Africa, as of May 1, 2004

Main activity of the company: Metals and minerals mining and marketing

Date and place of birth: February 24, 1952

Education: PhD, Kwazulu-Natal University, 1991; Advanced Management Program, Harvard, 2002

First job: Secretary and clerk, Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference

Size of first pay packet: R57 a month

First job with present group: Current position

Value of assets under your control: $4-billion (Net operating assets)

Number of people under your leadership: 16 000

Management style: Consultative, supportive, fair, firm

Personal best achievement: Surviving childhood environment of poverty and hopelessness

Professional best achievement: Professorship at University of Western Cape

Person who has had the biggest influence on your life: My mother, Emily; and spiritual director Rev Fr Dominic Scholten, who both taught me that the human spirit is indomitable

Person who has had the biggest influence on your career: Prof. Jakes Gerwel

Person who you would most like to meet: Bill Gates

Businessperson who has impressed you most: Graham Mackay

Philosophy of life: Respect the dignity of every small person. They, too, eventually grow big

Biggest ever opportunity: Studying at Leuven, Oxford, Stanford, Harvard and Princeton, which was impactful in 1975 when moving into them straight from a township

Biggest ever disappointment: Financial problems preventing full-time university study in 1970

Hope for the future: That patience, care and focus will deliver an economic miracle similar to the unprecedented political developments of the early nineties

Favourite reading: Fiction; English classics

Favourite TV programme: 50:50 on SABC

Favourite food/drink: Miller genuine draft beer or Meerlust wine and shellfish

Favourite music: Jazz, South African music and African gospel

Favourite sport: Soccer

Favourite website:

Hobbies: Radio, music, game-viewing, and hiking

Car: Mercedez-Benz E230

Pets: None since 1995, but prior to that two cats, two Dobermans

Miscellaneous dislikes: People who do not accept responsibility for their lives; smoking and jogging

Favourite other South African company: South African Breweries

Favourite foreign company: Microsoft

Married: Rose Mary n