LONDON Nov 15 British gas producer BG
Group Plc kicked off the race to succeed Chief Executive
Frank Chapman on Tuesday, naming three executives who it said
were being considered for the top job, while adding an external
hire was also possible.
Chapman, who has helped build BG from a UK-focussed player
into a $74 billion international oil and gas giant, will step
down before the end of 2013, the group said.
Chris Finlayson, managing director for Europe and central
Asia, Chief Financial Officer Fabio Barbosa and Martin Houston,
managing director for the Americas and head of BG's liquefied
natural gas unit, will be given additional duties to test their
suitability for the CEO role, a BG spokesman said.
"We have identified three internal candidates .. This is all
part of an orderly succession plan," he said.
Finlayson will take over BG Advance, the unit responsible
for BG's exploration strategy, capital projects and IT &
technology capability. He will also be responsible for
overseeing a possible change of BG Group's organisation.
Barbosa, who replaced the man who was previously seen as
Chapman's likely successor, Ashley Almanza, less than a year
ago, will add strategy and portfolio development to his current
duties. Martin Houston will become chief operating officer in
addition to his existing roles.
Long-time CFO Almanza stood down from BG's board and resigned
as chief financial officer in March this year. He remains a vice
president at the company.
Last month, BG named Andrew Gould, current chairman of oil
services group Schlumberger, as its next chairman. Gould
will take over early next year and will lead the CEO search.
While BG executives frequently step down at age 60, a
spokesman said this was not an obligation.
This would help Finlayson, a highly regarded former Shell
executive, who could be 57 when Chapman stands down. The long
lead times on projects in the oil industry means CEO's length of
tenure is longer than in many other industries.