Marius Kloppers has been CEO of BHP Billiton since 2007 after a long career with the company. He is also Chairman of the International Council on Mining and Metals (since October 2011) and former Deputy Chairman (from October 2008 to October 2011). A month after becoming Chief Executive he launched a $66bn takeover attempt for rival company Rio Tinto which would have formed one of the biggest companies in the world. The attempts ultimately failed partly due to the financial downturn in 2008, but he was named 18th of the 25 most powerful people in business by CNN in 2007 for his 'tenacity'. He is South African born and fought in Angola as a teenager.