Sector News

Early retirement prompts reshuffle at Wood Group

November 21, 2014
News
OIL services giant Wood Group has announced a boardroom reshuffle as the company looks to maintain its strong growth rate.
 
The changes will result in a new chief financial officer succeeding Alan Semple next year and to Wood Group appointing its first chief operating officer.
 
Aberdeen-based Wood Group said Mr Semple has told the company he intends to retire and step down from his role and the board at the firm’s general meeting in May 2015.
 
Mr Semple, 55, has been in post and a director of Wood Group since 2000. He has played an important part in the company’s global expansion, which has involved a series of acquisitions.
 
Wood Group’s chairman Ian Marchant said: “Alan has played a significant role in shaping Wood Group into the company it is today, having been heavily involved in the transition from a private to a public company in 2002 and the significant growth and internationalisation of the business over many years.”
 
Mr Semple will be succeeded by David Kemp, chief financial officer of the Wood Group PSN unit, which helps firms maximise production from existing assets.
 
Wood Group’s chief ­executive Bob Keiller said: “David has demonstrated great judgment, financial acumen and knowledge of both our business and the oil and gas industry, and will work with Alan to achieve an effective handover and to continue our focus on improving internal efficiency.”
 
Wood Group said Robin Watson, currently chief executive of Wood Group PSN, will be appointed group chief operating officer during the first half of 2015 with responsibility for units that work on both new and existing assets.
 
The group said it was creating the role in recognition of the breadth of its operations, and its longer term growth potential.
 
In a trading update last month Wood Group underlined its interest in acquisitions and said its maintenance business continues to benefit from high levels of activity in the North Sea and the US shale markets.
 
The group said that it is on course to grow earnings in line with expectations in 2014.
 
Wood increased pre-tax profits to $413 million (£263m) in 2013, from $361m (£229m) in 2012.
 
Oil services firms could face pressure on their earnings following the sharp fall in oil prices endured since June.
 
With oil and gas producers expected to try to get suppliers to accept lower rates, analysts have predicted there will be a wave of mergers and acquisitions in the services sector as firms look to add scale.
 
By Mark Williamson
 

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