Photo: Woodside

Woodside unveils exec team to lead new company after BHP merger

Australian energy giant Woodside has revealed a new executive team, which will lead the new company after the merger with BHP’s oil and gas portfolio is complete, allowing the firm to take full advantage of energy transition opportunities to foster further growth.

Following the merger commitment deed announced on 17 August 2021, Woodside and Australia’s BHP Group signed a binding share sale agreement (SSA) in November 2021 for the merger of BHP’s petroleum business portfolio with Woodside. The merger will enable Woodside to acquire the entire share capital of BHP Petroleum in exchange for new Woodside shares.

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In its latest update on Tuesday, Woodside reported that its CEO Meg O’Neill has announced the executive team to lead the company following the completion of Woodside’s proposed merger with BHP’s oil and gas portfolio, which is targeted for the second quarter of 2022.

Meg O’Neill, Woodside CEO, remarked: “The merged business is expected to have the scale and cash flow to create value for shareholders, deliver growth and thrive through the global energy transition, enabled by a leadership team that brings together the very best of our two organisations.”

Based on the company’s statement, all leadership positions will be based in Perth and Houston, reflecting the global nature of the combined portfolio. O’Neill explained that the nominated leadership team has the capabilities, experiences, and diverse perspectives to deliver long-term success for the merged company, according to Woodside.

New leadership team effective upon completion

The new nominated roles include nominees for Australia Operations, New Energy, Exploration and Development, Marketing and Trading, Projects, Technical Services, Corporate Services, Finance, Strategy and Climate, International Operations and Merger Integration.

When it comes to the new role for the finance sector, it is worth reminding that Graham Tiver was announced on 14 December 2021 as Woodside’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Executive Vice President (EVP), based in Perth. During his 28-year career with BHP and WMC Resources, Tiver worked in North and South America as well as a variety of roles around Australia. He joined Woodside on 1 February 2022.

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Woodside explained that Fiona Hick – who joined Woodside in 2001 and has been Woodside’s EVP of Operations since 2019 – has been nominated to lead Australian Operations, based in Perth. Hick is also the President of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia.

The company also informed that Shiva McMahon – currently General Manager of Australia Production Unit at BHP Petroleum – has been nominated to lead International Operations, based in Houston. McMahon has 25 years of industry experience in various roles, such as ones at BP, including Chief Financial Officer for Castrol and Head of the Upstream Executive Office.

The firm’s statement also confirms that Shaun Gregory – who joined Woodside in 1995 and currently holds the role of EVP Sustainability and Chief Technology Officer – has been nominated to lead New Energy, based in Perth. Gregory has over 25 years of industry experience and has previously held a range of roles at Woodside across sustainability and exploration.

Furthermore, Mark Abbotsford, who joined Woodside in 2002, has been nominated to lead Marketing and Trading, based in Perth. Abbotsford has 20 years of commercial, marketing, trading and merger and acquisition experience and is currently Woodside’s VP Marketing, Trading and Shipping.

Moreover, Andy Drummond –  currently VP of Sustainability and Innovation for BHP Petroleum – has been nominated to lead Exploration and Development, based in Houston. Drummond spent 15 years with Marathon Oil Corporation prior to joining BHP Petroleum in 2013.

Another nominee is Matthew Ridolfi who has been nominated to lead Projects, based in Houston. Ridolfi – who joined BHP in 1991 and is currently the VP of Major Developments – has 30 years of international experience in the petroleum business including Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Woodside further stated that Julie Fallon, who joined Woodside in 1998 and is currently Acting Senior Vice President (SVP) Corporate and Legal, has been nominated to lead Corporate Services, based in Perth. Fallon, who worked as an engineer at Shell Refining Australia prior to joining Woodside, has 29 years of industry experience.

The current Group Sustainability and Public Policy Officer for BHP Group, Tony Cudmore, who joined BHP in 2014 and serves as a Director of the BHP Foundation, has been nominated to lead Strategy and Climate, based in Perth. Prior to joining BHP, Cudmore worked with ExxonMobil in Australia and the United States of America.

In addition, the current SVP Merger Integration Planning at Woodside, Daniel Kalms, who joined the firm in 2001, has been nominated to lead Merger Integration activities after completion of the proposed merger, based in Perth. Kalms has 20 years of industry experience and he oversaw the start-up of the Pluto LNG facility.

New nominations; Woodside
Source: Woodside

Woodside further added that a nominee who will lead Technical Services will be subject to a future announcement, while all of the other new nominees – aside from Tiver and Kalms – will take their nominated roles only if and when completion of the proposed merger occurs.