Maersk Oil, Drilling get new CEOs

Following Maersk’s confirmation on Thursday that the company would separate the Group’s businesses into Transport & Logistics and Energy divisions, several management changes have been announced as well. Maersk Oil, Maersk Drilling, APM Terminals, Maersk Supply Service and Maersk Tankers will have new bosses.

Maersk Oil, the company’s oil exploration and production business, will see its CEO Jakob Bo Thomasen, leave after 27 years with the Maersk Group, the last seven of which as CEO of Maersk Oil.

He will be replaced by Gretchen Watkins, current Chief Operating Officer in Maersk Oil. She will take up the role as CEO of Maersk Oil effective October 1 2016.

Claus V. Hemmingsen, Group Vice CEO in A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S said:“Gretchen most recently served 2.5 years as Chief Operating Officer and a member of Maersk Oil’s Executive Team. During her COO tenure, she has proven her ability to drive change and operational excellence in Maersk Oil’s portfolio.

“Gretchen is well-placed and prepared to lead Maersk Oil into the next strategic phase of materialising the sanctioned projects, substantiating Maersk Oil’s position as a leading company in the North Sea and optimizing the economic value and profitability of the current portfolio. I very much look forward to a close cooperation and partnership with Gretchen to see Maersk Oil through the current challenging times in our industry,”

Maersk Oil’s production in the second quarter rose due to the contribution from its Al Shaheen field in Qatar. However, the company is set to lose the field once its license there expires in July 2017.

Al-Shaheen oil field is among the world’s largest oil fields. It has been producing oil for 22 years, yet holds the potential to produce a few-fold of the oil it has produced so far, Qatar Petroleum recently said. It currently produces around 40% of Qatar’s crude oil, at around 300,000 barrels per day.

However, Maersk Oil will not be there to see the field produce all of the available resources as its bid to extend the license was inferior to the one placed by the French oil giant Total, which will take over the operations there next year.

The Danish company has said the financial impact of not continuing in Qatar is limited as a new contract would have been on less attractive terms compared to the existing terms. However, Maersk Oil said it would lose 40% of its entitlement production and revenue at the current oil price.

As for the departing CEO, Michael Pram Rasmussen, Chairman of the Board said: “Under Jakob Thomasen’s leadership, Maersk Oil has turned its Incident-Free mindset into results and simultaneously transformed the company to become a scalable, global organisation. During Jakob’s more than 27 years with the Maersk Group, he has delivered on the project portfolio of Maersk Oil and coupled commercial and external orientation with technical reputation. We thank Jakob for his strong contributions to Maersk Oil as well as the wider Group during his 7-years long tenure as a member of the Executive Board and we wish him the very best,” says.

Under the new plan, the oil company will focus on the North Sea, where it will mature existing key development projects, while keeping exploration activities and expenses at a low level. The company is currently working to bring online the Culzean field in the UK North Sea. The field has been described as the largest new field discovered in the UK North Sea in more than a decade.


Maersk Drilling

Jørn Madsen has been appointed CEO of Maersk Drilling. Jørn Madsen is currently CEO of Maersk Supply Service, a company providing offshore support vessels, a role he has held since 2015. He will assume his new position after a replacement is named as CEO of Maersk Supply Service.

“Before taking up the CEO role for Maersk Supply Service, Jørn Madsen served for almost 25 years in Maersk Drilling, most recently as COO. In that capacity, he was instrumental in executing on Maersk Drilling’s growth strategy and laying the foundation for the company’s operational excellence success. I am confident that he and the management team going forward will successfully enhance and execute on our current strategy focusing on delivering high quality performance and securing revenue with our existing assets,” says Claus V. Hemmingsen, Group Vice CEO in A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S.

Other changes

The new CEO of APM Terminals will be Morten Engelstoft, currently CEO of APM Shipping Services and CEO of Maersk Tankers. Morten Engelstoft’s appointment is effective November 1, 2016.

Kim Fejfer, currently CEO of APM Terminals and Executive Board member in the Maersk Group will take up a new role related to A.P. Møller Holding A/S.

Christian M. Ingerslev has been appointed CEO of Maersk Tankers taking effect as of November 1 2016. Christian has since 2014 been CCO of Maersk Tankers.