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Total takeover causes Maersk shake up

Written by  Wednesday, 27 September 2017 09:22

French major Total has appointed Maersk Oil leaders to their new management positions, following current Maersk Oil CEO Gretchen Watkins’s decision to leave the company. The changes will coincide with the US$7.45 billion takeover expected to become effective in Q1 2018.

Watkins. Image from Maersk Oil.

The move will see Martin Rune Pedersen, chief operating officer in Maersk Oil become vice president of Total’s operations in Norway, Denmark and Netherlands. 

Troels Albrechtsen, chief technology officer in Maersk Oil will be appointed vice president for the technical center to be established in Copenhagen. The center will be part of Total’s global technical organization, supplementing the existing centers in Paris and Pau. 

“I am pleased to see Total’s continued commitment to maximize the full value of Maersk Oil’s operational and technical capabilities and the positioning of a strong Danish leadership team in their North Sea business,” says Claus V. Hemmingsen, vice CEO of AP Moller – Maersk and CEO of the Energy division.

According to Maresk, the appointments follow the decision by Watkins, CEO of Maersk Oil, to pursue other career opportunities once Total’s acquisition of Maersk Oil successfully closes. Gretchen will continue to lead Maersk Oil until deal closure, leading the pre-integration process as the business moves towards new ownership.

“Gretchen has in her roles as CEO and prior to this, as chief operating officer in Maersk Oil, played a decisive role in steering a transformation in Maersk Oil’s operational performance. I am glad that she will be here to continue leading successful and safe delivery of the business, placing Maersk Oil in the best position possible, until the deal closes,” says Hemmingsen.

Watkins joined Maersk Oil as COO in January 2014 and has been CEO of Maersk Oil since October 2016.

“This has been a difficult decision for me. I couldn’t be prouder of the way Maersk Oil has successfully navigated what I believe will come to be judged as historically challenging conditions for the industry, emerging as a high performing business. I remain firmly committed to leading the safe and successful delivery of our business performance until deal closure, alongside overseeing a smooth pre-integration process, as we take the business into new ownership,” says Watkins.

“The appointments are subject to successful deal closure and will not be effective before this. Closing is still expected during Q1 2018, pending regulatory approvals,” Maresk said.

Total announced it would buy Maersk Oil from its parent company AP Møller – Mærsk in August in a $7.45 billion share and debt deal. Should the merger go through, Total said it will gain about 1 billion boe of 2P/2C reserves. 

Pedersen was appointed to the role of COO in October 2016, prior to which he held executive positions as managing director for Maersk Oil’s Operated Business Units in Denmark and the UK.

Pedersen served as a board member of Oil & Gas UK and Step Change in Safety, contributing to a successful pan-industry drive to improve offshore safety performance.   

He is a Danish national and an engineering graduate from the University of Aalborg. Pedersen was an Officer (Captain, reserves) in the Danish Army, and joined Maersk Oil in 1997.

Albrechtsen was appointed to the role of chief technology officer seven years ago, prior to which he held multiple senior leadership positions in Maersk Oil’s offices in Denmark, the UK and Qatar. In addition, Albrechtsen has led Maersk Oil’s activities in West Africa and South America. 

An executive with more than 25 years of experience in the industry, Albrechtsen has been chairman of Oil Gas Denmark since 2013. In that capacity, he leads the industry’s engagement with Government Ministers and officials.

He is a Danish national and a Geology graduate of the University of Copenhagen.

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