Henry has been BHP's president operations minerals Australia since 2016 and a member of the executive leadership team since 2011, having joining the miner in 2003 from roles in the resources industry in Canada, Japan and Australia with Mitsubishi Corporation.
He had spent about half his career with BHP, with roles across the business, spanning operational, commercial, safety, technology and marketing roles, BHP said this morning.
The Canadian-born executive is already responsible for nearly 40,000 employees in Australia, with assets in the iron ore, coal, copper and nickel segments.
"Mike Henry's deep operational and commercial experience, developed in a global career spanning the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia, is the perfect mix for our next CEO," chairman Ken MacKenzie said.
He was selected after what was described as "a thorough succession process".
Henry said he was "honoured and privileged" to be given the opportunity to lead BHP into the next decade, promising to "unlock even greater value from our ore bodies and petroleum basins by enabling our people with the capability, data and technology to innovate and improve".
His remuneration package includes a base salary of US$1.7 million, and various lurks and perks including a 10% superannuation contribution, short-term cash bonuses of up to 80% of his base salary vesting in two and five years, and a 200% long-term incentive plan.
His base package matches Mackenzie's, which has remained unchanged since his appointment in 2013, although his actual total remuneration for financial 2019 was decreased from $4.6 million to $3.5 million to replace various challenges faced by the company, including the deal of a Queensland coal miner last December.
Henry will lead a company struggling to deal with a big shareholder revolt over BHP's support for groups that have questioned climate change science, including the Minerals Council of Australia, where Henry is vice chairman.
BHP is also still suffering reputational damage after the deadly Samarco dam disaster in Brazil and, like other miners, is facing a future of potentially lower iron ore prices; and demands it take more urgent action to address catastrophic climate change.
Mackenzie, who leaves after six-and-a-half years, said fresh leadership would "deliver an acceleration in the enormous potential for value and returns that will come from BHP's next wave of transformation".
BHP thanked Mackenzie for his role in transforming into a "simpler and more productive company" with the spin-off of South32, the streamlining of the business into five core areas, and the sale of BHP's woeful investment US shale gas assets.
BHP shares were off 1.3% in early trade to A$36.31, valuing the miner at $183.6 billion.