Australia: Woodside Names New Chief Executive Officer


The Board of Woodside has appointed Peter Coleman as the company’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director. Mr Coleman will succeed Don Voelte, who announced last October that he intended to retire from Woodside after more than seven years with the company.

Mr Coleman will take up his appointment with Woodside on Monday, 30 May 2011. He comes to Woodside with 27 years industry experience with the ExxonMobil group, where he has filled a variety of roles in Australia, Africa, Asia and the United States.

Mr Coleman’s most recent position was Vice President of the ExxonMobil Development Company, with responsibility for oil and gas developments around the world. This included ExxonMobil’s Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas project, and oil and gas developments in Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia.

Previous key roles with ExxonMobil included Vice President, Americas, responsible for leadership of all activities related to production in the United States, Canada and South America. Mr Coleman is an Australian citizen. He joined ExxonMobil from its Australian subsidiary Esso.

Woodside Chairman Michael Chaney said Mr Coleman’s appointment followed an extensive recruitment process which considered a strong field of internal and external candidates.

“The Board is delighted that Mr Coleman has agreed to lead Woodside through the company’s next phase of growth,” Mr Chaney said.

“Mr Coleman brings to the role a wealth of experience across all aspects of the oil and gas industry.”

Mr Chaney paid tribute to the achievements of Mr Voelte, who will step down as CEO and Managing Director at Mr Coleman’s commencement, but will remain with Woodside for several weeks to assist with the transition.

“Mr Voelte oversaw a significant expansion of Woodside’s LNG portfolio and created a strong ‘can do’ culture within the company,” Mr Chaney said.

“He has made an enormous contribution during his tenure, leaving Woodside in a great position from which it can continue to build under Mr Coleman’s leadership.”

Mr Coleman said he was excited to be joining Woodside, a company he had long admired.

“I have followed Woodside closely since beginning my career in the oil and gas industry nearly three decades ago and I relish the opportunity to lead this great Australian company,” Mr Coleman said.

“Woodside has an impressive portfolio of Australian oil and gas assets right across the development timeframe and I look forward to growing the company as successfully as my predecessors, and in a manner which continues to provide superior returns to shareholders.

“I am committed to maintaining the excellent reputation Woodside has in the industry for safe, reliable and responsible operations. This is a testament to the quality of Woodside’s people, and the strong relationships the company has with the communities, customers, governments and partners with which it works.”

Mr Voelte welcomed Mr Coleman’s appointment, saying his wide industry experience and unique oil and gas skills would stand him in good stead in his new role.

“I am confident that Mr Coleman has the right qualities to take Woodside through its next phase of growth,” he said.

Mr Voelte said he would continue to closely follow the fortunes of Woodside after he formally leaves the company on Thursday 30 June 2011.

“I am privileged to have served in the best job of my career over the past seven years.

“It was a hard decision to make way for a new CEO, but it was the right call and I leave the company happy with the contribution I have made.”


Source:Woodside , May 12, 2011;

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