Ex-BHP exec named Cobalt CEO

May 31, 2016

Houston-based Cobalt International Energy appointed Timothy J. Cutt as its new CEO and Class I member of the board of directors, each effective 2 July 2016.

Cutt has over 30 years of oil and gas experience, most recently as BHP Billiton's president of petroleum, where he was accountable for its global oil and gas business. Cutt takes over for Joseph H. Bryant, who resigned as Cobalt's chairman and CEO, each resignation is effective 1 June 2016.

In connection with Bryant’s resignation, William P. Utt, Cobalt's lead independent director, has been appointed as interim chairman of the company's board of directors, and Van P. Whitfield, Cobalt's executive vice president and COO, has been named interim CEO, each effective 1 June. In addition, Whitfield has been appointed as a Class II member of the board of directors.

“I am honored and very excited to join the Cobalt team,” Cutt said of his new position. “Cobalt has been able to achieve exceptional exploration success over the years, competing with the largest companies in the world in a very capital intensive industry. I look forward to taking Cobalt into its next chapter by driving our discoveries to meaningful production and solidifying Cobalt’s future as a leading independent E&P company. What the Cobalt team has accomplished is outstanding and I very much look forward to building upon these achievements.”

Cutt joined BHP Billiton in 2007 as the president of the production division in the petroleum business, where he was accountable for running operations in the UK, Pakistan, Trinidad & Tobago, Algeria, Australia and the US. During this time, he was instrumental in building the operating capacity for BHP Billiton’s deepwater business. Before joining BHP Billiton, Cutt held positions in engineering, operations and senior management for 25 years with Mobil Oil Corp. and then ExxonMobil. During this time he spent 10 years supporting exploration and production activities in the Gulf of Mexico and held positions of president Hibernia Management and Development Co. and president of ExxonMobil de Venezuela. Cutt is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering.

Cobalt also announced that in connection with Cutt’s employment, and in accordance with New York Stock Exchange rules regarding employment inducement awards, the company will grant him a one-time initial equity award of service-based restricted shares of Cobalt's common stock with a value on grant date of $4 million. The award of service-based restricted stock will vest in three equal installments on each of the first three anniversaries of the grant date, subject to Cutt’s continued employment with Cobalt on each such date or a qualifying termination of employment. 

Image: Timothy J. Cutt, courtesy of BHP Petroleum.



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