Are ‘green’ credentials the way forward for international oil companies’ management?

OPINION: As international and national oil companies alike broaden their remit to encompass renewables and cleaner fuels, or spin off such greener entities, it will be interesting to see who is chosen to take the helm at the time of management succession.

Will these companies recruit outsiders with specialist experience and a proven track record, say, perhaps in the hydrogen sector, or will they select an internal candidate — potentially an oil and gas veteran with decades of experience who knows the intricacies and day-to-day nitty gritty of the specific company but without a ‘green’ pedigree?

What criteria and qualities will prove to be the most prized when it comes to head-hunting candidates for future chief executive and chief operating officer roles of these increasingly integrated energy players or renewables subsidiaries?

Independence

Malaysia’s national oil company Petronas recently launched clean energy solutions entity Gentari, but to date no management team has been unveiled, although Petronas’ chief executive Tengku Muhammad Taufik is Gentari’s chairman.

Petronas said Gentari would be afforded the required independence to deliver clean energy solutions while seeking financing opportunities, but does that mean Gentari will have an independent management team and from where will they be appointed?

Meanwhile, UK supermajor Shell last week confirmed the upcoming departure of chief executive Ben van Beurden and announced that the head of its gas and renewables business, Wael Sawan, would be taking over the reins.

It will be interesting to see what future management direction other companies favor as they increasingly embrace the energy transition.

(This is an Upstream opinion article.)

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