Successor sought

Wood starts search for CEO as Watson set to retire

Robin Watson
Robin Watson: tenth year on the board (pic: Terry Murden)

Wood Group CEO Robin Watson has advised the board of his intention to retire as chief executive. He will remain in place until his successor is in place.

Mr Watson was appointed chief executive of the Aberdeen-based company in January 2016, having previously joined the board in January 2013 as CEO of Wood’s PSN division. He also served as chief operating officer.

The announcement comes as the company posts annual revenue down 14% on a like-for-like basis, with growth in consulting and operations more than offset by a significant decline in projects.

Adjusted EBITDA was down 10% on a like-for-like basis, with improved EBITDA in consulting offset by lower EBITDA in projects and operations.

The bottom line loss is reduced to $136m from $228m in the previous period.

Mr Watson, chief executive, said: “2022 marks my tenth year on the Wood board and my seventh as chief executive. When I think back to the business I joined, it was largely focused on the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico and was almost entirely an upstream oilfield services business.

“I reflect with pride on the business we have now and the opportunities we continue to unlock in some very exciting and relevant energy markets: carbon capture, hydrogen, bio-refining, minerals processing, solar and wind energy – all alongside our well-established conventional energy business, helping our clients on their own transition journeys.

“As such, I have shared with the board that I consider the sale of our Built Environment business as marking the start of the next strategic phase for Wood and an appropriate time for me to step down as chief executive.

“I look forward to continuing to serve as chief executive and on the board until my successor is in place and I remain fully committed to our business delivery and to enabling a smooth transition.”

Roy Franklin, chairman, said: “On behalf of the board, I thank Robin for his years of service to the company. Under his leadership, Wood has transformed into a global consulting and engineering business that operates across a wide range of energy and industrial markets worldwide.

“Robin has built a strong leadership team around him and a solid portfolio that provides us great opportunities as we look ahead.

“A search process is now underway, with both internal and external candidates, and we are confident a smooth transition will follow later this year.”

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