Seplat Petroleum Development Company PLC on Monday announced the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer as its incumbent CEO, Austin Avuru, prepares to retire in July 2020.
Mr Avuru, who was the pioneer Managing Director of the company and rose to become the CEO, has led the company in the position for over 10 years.
The Company Secretary, Edith Onwuchekwa, said the board has selected the Chief Finance Officer, Roger Brown, as Mr Avuru’s successor to lead the company’s latest aspirations.
Mr Avuru’s achievements
Mrs Onwuchekwa acknowledged Mr Avuru’s achievements during the period he was the CEO of the company, including the “development of a strong organization, the deployment of agile systems, processes.”
She said Mr Avuru established formidable stakeholder relationships that allowed the company to grow rapidly from a gross crude oil production capacity of 22,700 barrels of oil equivalent per day as at December 2010 to a peak of 111,368 BOEPD gross production as of December 2018.
The feat, she said, was achieved through major drilling campaigns and major new oil and gas plants development.
The acquisition of 40 per cent of oil mining lease (OML) 53, after the company’s initial public offer (IPO) in 2014, Mrs Onwuchekwa said, created an opportunity to partner with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The partnership resulted in the creation of a mid-stream subsidiary, ANOH Gas Processing Company Limited, currently progressing what will ultimately be a 300 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscf/d) of gas, 22,500 bdp of condensate and 1,200 boepd of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) processing Company.
“All these could not have been achieved without Mr. Avuru’s leadership skills, personal dedication and hard work, at the head of the Company,” Mrs Onwuchekwa said.
The Company Secretary said the Board of Seplat is grateful to Mr Avuru for these accomplishments and look forward to his continued service at the Board level.
Company’s future plans
On the company’s plans for the future, she said Seplat plans to position itself for a next phase growth ambition which would see the expansion of its footprint in terms of energy business activities, a plan to pursue offshore assets as well as opportunity driven entry into different geographies.
“The company believes such a corporate transition would require a different kind of organizational structure, people skills set and mentality to compete well in the expanded space,” she said.
Consequently, she announced plans by Seplat to review its current organizational and systems structure to take care of the needs and challenges ahead.
To lead the company in her latest aspirations, the official announced that the board has selected Roger Brown as Mr Avuru’s successor when he finally steps down on July 31, 2020.
She announced that the board also decided that the CEO designate would lead the restructuring during the transition period between now and final exit date of Mr Avuru next year.
Mr Brown who joined SEPLAT in 2013 as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) played a key role in the successful dual listing of the company in both the London and Nigeria Stock Exchanges in 2014.
Also, since joining the company, Mr Brown has played significant roles in various asset acquisitions by Seplat.
“He brings to the CEO role a deep knowledge of the Company in his six years as the CFO and a member of the Board. He has strong financial, commercial and merger and acquisition (M&A) experience as well as proven people skills which will be an asset as the Company embarks on the next phase of its growth plan,” the official said.
Prior to joining SEPLAT, Mr Brown was an advisor to the company since 2010, while he was the Managing Director and head of EMEA Oil and Gas at Standard Bank Group.
During his time at the bank, he was instrumental in providing advice and deploying capital across the African continent in the Oil & Gas, Power & Infrastructure and renewable energy sectors.