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Are oil prices ushering in a new type of senior executive?

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

According to Boyden Global Executive Search, the dramatic fluctuation in oil prices, shifts in the industry, and hyper focus on efficiency and profitability are ushering in a new type of CEO and senior executive team at energy companies. Trina Gordon, President & CEO, Boyden World Corporation commented, “energy executives managing in this uncertain environment must be mindful of the myriad of factors that impact their bottom line. Beyond pure supply and demand fundamentals the technology enhancements, political and global regulations play a big role in this industry more than in most other sectors, and thus a strategic eye at the top is critical for exploration and production companies, oilfield service providers and other organisations to ensure they navigate the challenges.”


A new report from Boyden covers changes in the global energy sector, talent strategy connected to oil price swings, increased consolidation and merger activity, private equity plays, and the impact on oil and gas dependent markets and renewable and clean energy developments.

Tom Zay, Global Leader, Boyden’s Energy Sector and Managing Partner commented, “due to portfolio losses that near retirees experienced in the recession, many executives signed up for additional assignments and delayed their exit to rebuild their retirement funds. After five years of economic growth in the oil patch, those individuals along with the group just reaching retirement are electing to hand it up. The ups and downs of the industry have taken their toll on people who are in the latter part of their careers, and they don’t have the will to fight through another negative cycle. Thus, the already growing shortage of executives is likely to become more acute over the next few years.”

Trends affective executive hiring

  • Increasing demand for CFO, Chief Supply Chain Officers and operational executives.
  • Opportunities to acquire top talent who are more available in a shifting market.
  • Growing government regulations across the globe.
  • Effects of industry consolidation in hiring.
  • Increasing presence of restructuring advisors and consulting companies.
  • Oil prices affecting project funding in energy dependent markets such as Russia, Iran and Venezuela.

Tim Hamilton, Partner, Boyden Canada said, “many industry leaders see the current low oil price environment as an opportunity to realign costs and continue to invest technology. Major projects have slowed but oilsands are a long term asset. One of the encouraging signs is that while expensive executives are retiring, younger executives are being hired and others are being offered promotions. In today’s market, there are solid prospects for talented financial and operational executives.”

Birger Svendensen, Managing Partner, Boyden Norway commented, “as a result of the phenomenal activity, compensation has doubled over the past 10 years, during which time it has been relatively easy to be a CEO of an oil company. But now the conditions are changing dramatically. The focus on efficiency and profits is at a much higher level. CEOs and top management will have to deal with new and worst case scenarios. Today’s environment is a game changer.”

Edited from press release by Claira Lloyd

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