With effect from the 30th April 2016, Nicholas (Nic) Smith will be retiring as a Director after nine years on Ophir’s Board, the past seven of which he served as Chairman.
Following a comprehensive search process, which included the evaluation of both external and internal candidates, William (Bill) Schrader has been chosen to succeed Nic as Chairman with effect from 30th April 2016. Bill has over 30 years’ experience working at BP plc, including as Chief Executive of several country operations, as President of the Azerbaijan International Operating Company and as Chief Operating Officer of TNK-BP. Bill joined the Ophir Board as a Non-Executive Director in February 2013. Bill Schrader also serves as a Non-Executive Director for the Hess Corporation, CHC Group Limited and Bahamas Petroleum Company plc. Bill holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from the University of Houston.
Bill will join the Nominations Committee with immediate effect and will assume the position of Chairman of the Nominations Committee as of 30 April 2016. At that time Bill will step down from the Audit Committee and will resign as the Chairman of the Corporate Responsibility Committee but will continue as a member of this committee. Dr Carol Bell will replace Bill as Chairman of the Corporate Responsibility Committee, again also with effect from the 30th of April 2016.
Ronald (Ron) Blakely has notified the Board of his intention not to stand for re-election as a Non-Executive Director of Ophir at the 2017 Annual General Meeting. Ron will consequently be stepping down from his roles as Senior Independent Director, as Chairman of the Audit Committee, and will retire as a Director, all in the first quarter of 2017.
The Board has been aware of Nic and Ron’s intentions for some time and therefore has a succession plan in place. A process to recruit two new Non-Executive directors to replace Nic and Ron has commenced and is expected to be concluded during 2016. It is anticipated that one of the new appointees will become Chairman of the Audit Committee.
Following a review of the Board, the Board has decided that the role of Chief Financial Officer will be elevated to that of an Executive Director. Consequently, Anthony (Tony) Rouse, Ophir’s Chief Financial Officer, will become an Executive Director with immediate effect. Tony joined Ophir in October 2014, and has over 30 years’ experience in the Upstream Oil and Gas industry including 13 years of assignments in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. Tony started his career with BP, before moving to LASMO plc, Premier Oil and most recently Salamander Energy where he was Group Financial Controller for 9 years. Tony is a Fellow of the Chartered Certified Accountants.
The Company confirms there is no information to disclose pursuant to paragraph 9.6.13R of the Listing Rules.
Ron Blakely, Senior Independent Non-Executive Director commented:
“On behalf of the Board and Management I would like to thank Nic for his highly valuable contribution to overseeing the transition of Ophir from a private company to a well-established London – listed company. It has been a pleasure to work alongside him and we wish him well in his future endeavours.
I would also like to extend our congratulations to Bill on his appointment as Chairman. Bill was the outstanding candidate for the role of Chairman, combining over 30 years of industry experience with three years on the Board of Ophir. He has been an excellent Board member and I have no doubt will prove to be an outstanding Chairman.
Finally, having completed a Board review and determined that the role of Chief Financial Officer should be an Executive position, I am delighted to welcome Tony to the Board. Tony’s extensive experience in the oil and gas industry will be a valuable addition going forward”.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Ophir Energy plc +44 (0)20 7811 2400
Geoff Callow, Head of Investor Relations
Press release is available to download