19/07/2021 - 14:30

Oil Search MD in shock resignation

19/07/2021 - 14:30

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Keiran Wulff has resigned as managing director of Oil Search after just 17 months, with the company citing both health issues and recent complaints about his behaviour.

Oil Search MD in shock resignation
Keiran Wulff said it was increasingly difficult to perform at the level required.

Keiran Wulff has resigned as managing director of Oil Search after just 17 months, with the company citing both health issues and recent complaints about his behaviour.

Oil Search said Dr Wulff had been managing a long-term medical condition that recently deteriorated.

Chairman Rick Lee said the board entered into discussions with Dr Wulff following the receipt of recent concerns and complaints about his behaviour.

The board considered Dr Wulff had behaved in a manner inconsistent with the standards expected in relation to his management style, according to a statement.

Dr Wulff commenced as managing director in February 2020, succeeding the long-serving Peter Botten.

He said it had been a great privilege to work at Oil Search, where he worked from 1993 to 2008, and again from 2015.

“It has however, become apparent to me that due to my health challenges, it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to perform at the level required of the position,” Dr Wulff said.

“After considerable reflection and consultation with my family and others including my medical advisers, it is an appropriate time to leave to focus on my health.”

Mr Lee said the board acknowledged the magnitude of the tasks undertaken by Dr Wulff since his appointment.

“This period has been marked by extreme challenges including global lockdowns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, a plunge in oil prices, crisis measures to protect the company’s financial position and developing a clear strategy to steer a path to a sustainable future through the energy transition,” Mr Lee said.

“It is a tribute to all staff that Oil Search is now in a solid position with record levels of production in PNG, a strengthened balance sheet and our Alaskan development plans meeting milestone targets.”

Peter Fredricson, a veteran energy sector executive who joined the company earlier this year as chief financial officer, has agreed to become acting chief executive officer.

Oil Search shares dropped 4.9 per cent today to close at $3.68, giving the company a market value of just above $8 billion.

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