Statoil’s Helge Lund to take up role at BG early

 
Caitlin Morrison
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Lund’s appointment was announced in October last year
Oil ginat BG Group unexpectedly welcomed its new chief executive Helge Lund yesterday, after he struck a deal with ex-employer Statoil to release him from his contractual commitments three weeks early.

The news pushed shares in the company up by three per cent.

Lund’s appointment was announced in October last year. He previously spent a decade at the helm of Norwegian firm Statoil.

Analysts at VSA Capital Research said: “The appointment of such an experienced executive is very good news for BG.”

They added that the timing of the appointment is “particularly important” as the company is facing a challenging year, with capital expenditure reduced by around 30 per cent and a possible cut in headcount costs on the cards.

Analysts also noted the company is decreasing production guidance by eight per cent.

Meanwhile, Lewis Sturdy, dealer at London Capital Group, warned that Lund’s performance will be subject to great scrutiny.

“Much is expected after the furore over the size of his compensation package, offered in the wake of large write downs from the recent falling energy price environment,” commented Sturdy.

BG was forced to revise Lund’s pay package in the face of a shareholder revolt late last year, reducing a proposed “golden hello” share award, which could have been worth up to £12m, to around £4.7m.

At the time, the Institute of Directors described BG’s initial proposed pay package as “excessive, inflammatory and contrary to the principles of good corporate governance”, and shareholders questioned the deal.

Andrew Gould, who had been serving as interim executive chairman of BG since April 2014, has returned to his role as non-executive chairman.

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