Helge Lund joins Schlumberger board

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Helge Lund joins Schlumberger board


Category: Accounting / Financial

Oil-services giant  Schlumberger Ltd. has appointed Helge Lund to its board, taking on the former CEO of BG Group PLC just months after the British oil and natural gas producer was acquired by  Royal Dutch Shell  PLC in a roughly $50 billion deal.

The appointment of Mr. Lund by Schlumberger comes as major oil and gas producers such as Shell have cut back heavily on capital spending and other costs in the face of lower oil prices, with serious knock-on effects on the oil-services sector. Schlumberger has cut around 36,000 jobs, or 28% of its workforce, since November 2014.

The Shell-BG deal, which completed in February this year, was engineered by BG’s Executive Chairman  Andrew Gould, the former head of Schlumberger and one of the biggest names in the oil industry.

Mr. Lund, 53, became CEO of BG in February last year, only a few weeks before Shell moved in with its offer for the company. Mr. Lund came to BG from Norway’s  Statoil AS STO -1.46 %    A, where he won praise as a skillful executive, forcing the Norwegian company over his 10-year tenure as CEO to drill across the world while also revitalizing its work in the home country’s continental shelf.

When Mr. Lund took up the helm at BG last year, the company had been roiled by years of under delivery on its own output and profit targets and turmoil at the top level at the company which had been without a CEO for almost a year. Last year, the U.K.’s third largest oil and natural gas firm finally came into its own: The cash started rolling in as its massive LNG project in Australia came online, production ramped up in Brazil and a phase of mega investment ended.

While investors welcomed Mr. Lund’s appointment at BG, his generous compensation package immediately drew controversy. Shareholders objected to a share award, valued at the time at £12 million ($17.4 million), for the incoming Mr. Lund in what became one of the biggest revolts over executive pay in the U.K. in recent years. BG eventually bowed to investor pressure and scrapped the share award.

There had been some speculation about what Mr. Lund would do after the Shell-BG deal closed. He had always said he wasn’t seeking a role at the new combined company and would move on from BG once the deal completed.

Schlumberger said in a statement that Mr. Lund will serve as a director until the next annual general meeting. The board hasn’t yet determined which committees Mr. Lund will be assigned to.

Source: Wall Street Journal