BG Group plc (BG Group) announces that Chris Finlayson has been appointed as Chief Executive, to succeed Sir Frank Chapman. Chris, who is currently Executive Director and Managing Director BG Advance, will take over as Chief Executive on 1 January 2013. Chris, who has over 35 years experience in the oil and gas industry, joined BG Group from Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell) in August 2010 and was appointed to the Board on 15 November 2011.
At BG Group, Chris currently has executive responsibility for leading BG Advance, including BG Group’s world-class exploration team, the Group’s major capital projects programme, contracts and procurement and technology. During his time at Shell, Chris was a member of the Exploration and Production (E&P) leadership team. He held a number of senior leadership positions in E&P and LNG in Russia, Nigeria, Brunei and the North Sea. He has an outstanding track record of delivering large scale projects, optimisation of production and operational performance, and has worked successfully with joint venture partners, national oil companies, and governments at the highest levels.
As Managing Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, Chris led Nigeria’s largest and most complex oil and gas joint venture, managing production of some one million barrels of oil equivalent per day. He was also Shell’s Director of Nigeria LNG Ltd, the second largest LNG plant in the world at the time.
As Executive Vice President Shell EP Russia, Chris was assigned to manage the cost and schedule issues at Sakhalin 2, Shell’s largest integrated oil and gas LNG project at the time, and improve relations with the Russian government and Gazprom. Alongside responsibility for delivering the project, Chris also managed Gazprom’s entry into the project as a joint venture partner. He was asked to remain Chairman of Sakhalin Energy Investment Company, when Gazprom became the majority shareholder.
Commenting on Chris Finlayson’s appointment Andrew Gould, Chairman of BG Group, said: “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Chris as BG Group’s new Chief Executive. I have known Chris for many years and he has outstanding front line operating experience. “He has worked all over the world, often in difficult circumstances, and has a strong track record of successful delivery, driving operational performance, developing people, and working with joint venture partners and governments.
“The process to appoint Sir Frank’s successor early in 2013 has been rigorous and comprehensive and allows for an orderly transition. The Board identified and assessed three internal candidates and a number of external candidates. It was a tough competition but reached a clear conclusion. We were unanimous that Chris has the right skills for the next stage of BG Group’s evolution, and the delivery of our growth projects. “Chris has a keen understanding and immense knowledge of gas and oil projects, exploration, production, operational management and LNG. He also knows BG Group well and in this critical delivery phase can hit the ground running.”
Commenting on his selection as the new Chief Executive of BG Group, Chris Finlayson said: “I am excited and honoured to have been asked to lead BG Group. Under Sir Frank, the Group has grown significantly; with resources expanding from 1.2 to more than 17 billion barrels of oil equivalent. “My priority is to build on this legacy by delivering the new growth projects that will commercialise this huge and valuable resource base, to continue to build on our exploration success, and at the same time to drive for operational excellence and cost efficiency.”
Sir Frank will step down from the Board and Group Executive Committee on 31 December 2012, and will, as planned, continue to work as an advisor in support of the Chief Executive transition until his retirement in June 2013. In June this year, Sir Frank began a course of medication for very early stage myeloma. He has experienced no symptoms from the condition, or side effects from the treatment. He remains fit and well and has continued to fulfil his duties as Chief Executive with the full support of the Board. The course of medication has been very effective in dealing with Sir Frank’s condition and in 2013 he will undergo 3 to 4 weeks hospital treatment to consolidate the excellent progress made.
Commenting on the transition, Chief Executive Sir Frank Chapman said: “I am delighted that Chris has been asked to succeed me. His depth of knowledge and wealth of international experience is perfectly matched for the delivery task that lies ahead. I wish him every success. “For me the last 16 years has been a fascinating and totally absorbing journey. The greatest reward has come from working with so many talented and committed BG Group people. Who they are and how they go about their work defines BG Group and I thank every one of them for their loyalty and hard work.”
Andrew Gould concluded by saying: “Frank is an iconic Chief Executive who grew BG Group out of a minor division of the old British Gas into a vibrant international oil and gas major. He has delivered an amazing exploration track record, creating a huge resource base, and developed a differentiated and highly valuable LNG model. “We owe him an enormous debt of gratitude for what has been achieved and for the legacy of opportunities still to be realised. “We will hold a Q4 and full year results update on 5 February 2013. As a consequence of the Chief Executive transition, the Group’s strategy update will now be held later in the year.”