Watkins to leave Maersk Oil after Total transaction completion

Gretchen Watkins, Maersk Oil CEO, will not be joining Total after the French oil company recently announced the acquisition of the Danish firm.

In a statement on Wednesday, Maersk Oil said that Watkins would leave to pursue other career opportunities once Total’s acquisition of Maersk Oil successfully closes. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2018.

Watkins, appointed CEO in October 2016, 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 Claus V. Hemmingsen, Vice CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk and CEO of the Energy division.

Watkins, who first joined Maersk in 2014, said: “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.”

To remind, Total late in August said it had agreed to buy Maersk Oil in a $7.45 billion combined share and debt transaction. As part of the deal, Denmark will become the regional hub for all Total’s operations in Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands, based on Maersk Oil’s capabilities and strong position in the North Sea region.

Danish conglomerate has with this transaction kicked off the planned sell-off of the energy business, as per the strategy revealed in 2016. Apart from the sale of Maersk Oil, Maersk has this month also agreed the sale of Maersk Tankers, and is reportedly in talks with Rowan to sell its Maersk Drilling subsidiary.

Offshore Energy Today Staff