UPDATE 1-BG names industry veteran Finlayson as CEO

Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:57am EST

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LONDON Dec 13 (Reuters) - BG Group named oil industry veteran Chris Finlayson as its new chief executive, a man seen as having the sort of background in dealmaking that has enabled the British company to grow to a top player in recent years.

Finlayson is currently managing director for BG Advance and will take over at the beginning of January, BG said on Thursday.

The 56-year-old joined BG from Royal Dutch Shell in 2010.

He replaces Frank Chapman, who had a 12-year tenure at the helm of BG. Under Chapman, BG has grown from a small, state-run North Sea producer to an outperforming top-20 global oil and gas group.

BG put a succession plan in place last year. Insider Finlayson was a favourite to clinch the role, alongside chief financial officer Fabio Barbosa and Americas managing director Martin Houston.

All were given additional duties to test their suitability.

"The board identified and assessed three internal candidates and a number of external candidates," said BG Chairman Andrew Gould in a statement.

"It was a tough competition but reached a clear conclusion. We were unanimous that Chris has the right skills for the next stage of BG Group's evolution, and the delivery of our growth projects."

Chapman will continue to guide his successor until he retires in June, BG said.