Maersk Oil CEO steps down following Total takeover

CEO Gretchen Watkins of Maersk Oil will step down after the Danish oil company is sold to France's Total. Two Maersk Oil execs will continue in future roles at Total.

Photo: Maersk Oil

Maersk Oil CEO Gretchen Watkins will step down when the oil company is acquired by France's Total.

However, two other senior executives have been appointed to management positions following the transaction, informs Maersk in a press release.

I couldn't be prouder of the way Maersk Oil has successfully navigated what I believe will come to be judged as historically challenging conditions for the industry"

Gretchen Watkins, CEO, Maersk Oil
COO Martin Rune Pedersen will become VP of Total's activities in Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands, while Troels Albrechtsen, who currently serves as Maersk Oil Chief Technology Officer, will become VP and head a technical center to be established in Copenhagen.

Watkins has been with the company since 2014 when she joined the Maersk Group's oil unit as COO. She was appointed CEO in October 2016, replacing Jakob Thomassen.

"Gretchen has in her roles as CEO and prior to this, as Chief Operating Officer in Maersk Oil, played a decisive role in steering a transformation in Maersk Oil's operational performance. I am glad that she will be here to continue leading successful and safe delivery of the business, placing Maersk Oil in the best position possible, until the deal closes," says Claus V. Hemmingsen, Vice CEO of A.P. Moller-Maersk and CEO of the Energy division.

The sale of Maersk Oil to Total is still expected to be closed in the first quarter 2018.

"This has been a difficult decision for me. I couldn't be prouder of the way Maersk Oil has successfully navigated what I believe will come to be judged as historically challenging conditions for the industry, emerging as a high performing business," says Watkins in the press release.

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