BHP Billiton Iron Ore Chief Resigns

BHP Billiton's iron ore president, who earlier this month sparked a sell-off in global stock markets with gloomy comments on China's economy, is resigning.

SYDNEY (AP) -- BHP Billiton's iron ore president, who earlier this month sparked a sell-off in global stock markets with gloomy comments on China's economy, is resigning after 25 years with the mining giant.

BHP says in a statement Friday that Ian Ashby's resignation is effective July 1. He will be replaced by Jimmy Wilson who heads BHP's coal business.

Ashby's resignation does not appear related to his recent market-moving comments.

BHP says in the statement that he built its iron ore operations into the company's most profitable business.

Ashby made headlines in the financial world last week with remarks that China's demand for commodities is waning.

China is the world's second biggest economy.

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