European Oil Firms Suffer Decade of Disruptions to Succession Plans
LONDON/PARIS, Nov 2 (Reuters) – The change of command just seen at Total, Statoil and BG has shown another upset in the continuity of management at Europe's oil majors, a fault line that has now been running for the last decade.
October was a particularly bad month with Total rushing through its succession plan after its charismatic boss Christophe de Margerie died in a plane accident. A few days earlier it was announced that BG had poached the long-serving but still relatively youthful chief of Statoil, Helge Lund.
Hidden beyond what looked like totally unconnected headlines about the scramble to replace de Margerie and a massive jump in salary for Lund was a broader industry trend -- the scarcity of veteran heavyweights amongst Europe's big oil firms.
Total has called back as chairman its former head Thierry Desmarest, 68, to be mentor for a year to the new CEO, Patrick Pouyanne, 51, who was long-seen as a potential successor to de Margerie, but not just yet.
And a long-time associate of de Margerie said none of the prospective successors was ready as they simply lacked his depth of political and business contacts: "There are perhaps seven or eight bosses in the world who have that, no more".
"When you see articles saying the French president visited such and such a country, taking business leaders with him, it was very often the other way round. It was de Margerie introducing the French president to such and such a leader," he said.
Meanwhile BG was left without a CEO for six months after Chris Finlayson suddenly stepped down over strategy differences with Chairman Andrew Gould.
View Full Article
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.
Operates 1 Offshore Rigs
- Statoil Takes First Bite Of Solar Market With Brazilian Joint Venture (Oct 04)
- Statoil Charters Last of Largest Oil Tankers to Hold Crude for Asia Buyers (Sep 28)
- Statoil And Partners Plan Output Capacity Expansion At Troll Gas Field (Sep 26)
Company: Total S.A. more info
- Total CEO: US Shale Oil Industry To See Wave Of Investment (Oct 18)
- Total's CEO Says Will Try To Move Ahead With Iran Gas Project (Oct 17)
- Total Expands Presence in Mexico (Oct 12)
Company: BG Group more info
- Shell Mulls LNG-Hub Network as Use by Ships and Trucks Expands (Jul 11)
- Tanzania Laws Would Allow Govt to Tear Up Mining, Energy Deals (Jun 29)
- Despite Cuts, Big Oil to Expand Production into the 2020s (Sep 05)