Woodside (ASX:WPL) announces new leader

The company announced a major leadership update.

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The Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) share price will be one to look out for Wednesday morning. This comes amid a string of updates including the company’s half-yearly results, merger with BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP)’s oil and gas business and an announcement regarding an update to its senior management team.

At yesterday’s market close, Woodside shares finished the day down 2.13%, trading at $20.73. Let’s take a closer look at who has taken out the energy giant’s top job.

Woodside appoints new CEO

The Woodside share price could be on the move today following the company’s price-sensitive announcements after Tuesday’s market close.

In one of its releases, Woodside advised it has appointed acting CEO Meg O’Neill as the new permanent CEO and managing director.

Ms O’Neill replaced Peter Coleman, who retired from the company in June 2021. The position is with immediate effect.

Woodside’s board said the selection resulted from an extensive international recruitment process, both internally and externally.

Ms O’Neill brings a wealth of knowledge to the senior leadership team, with 27 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Furthermore, she has a proven track record on project delivery, cost savings, and carbon reduction.

The company said Ms O’Neill had been an important player in providing operational efficiencies across its assets since joining Woodside in 2018. This includes leading the Scarborough and Sangomar developments, with the former being targeted towards a final investment decision this year.

Before joining Woodside, Ms O’Neill worked in senior technical and business positions for energy giant Exxon Mobil. Her assignments spanned Indonesia, Norway, Canada, and the United States and regional roles in Asia/Pacific and Africa.

Ms O’Neill holds dual Bachelor degrees in Ocean Engineering and Chemical Engineering. In addition, she has a Masters Degree in Ocean Systems Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Management commentary

Woodside chair Richard Goyder touched on the new appointment, saying:

Meg’s impeccable credentials and proven leadership capabilities, exemplified in recent months, set her apart as the board’s top candidate for the CEO position. The board is looking forward to working with Meg to build on Woodside’s great history and future opportunities.

New Woodside CEO and managing director, Ms O’Neill went on to add:

Woodside is a great company with an exciting future. My focus will be on delivering the significant benefits expected from the merger of Woodside and BHP’s petroleum business and continuing to reduce costs and carbon while delivering Woodside’s current projects and production.

Woodside share price review

The Woodside share price has moved in circles year to date, reflecting an 8.8% loss for the period. More recently, the company’s shares have been hit hard by speculation on a deal for BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP)’s petroleum business.

Woodside commands a market capitalisation of around $19.9 billion, making it the 23rd largest company on the ASX.

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Motley Fool contributor Aaron Teboneras owns shares of Woodside Petroleum Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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