Aberdeen oil and gas operator Dana Petroleum said yesterday chief executive Tom Cross had resigned and would leave the company on Monday, November 8.
This follows the company’s acquisition for £1.67billion by South Korea’s national oil company, KNOC, but Mr Cross said yesterday it was his choice to leave.
He is now becoming executive chairman of Parkmead Group, a specialist oil and gas investor and adviser, which moved its HQ to Aberdeen from London at the end of last year after buying Aberdeen University spinout firm Aupec. He will continue to live in Aberdeen.
Parkmead said non-executive chairman Colin Goodall, who had the same post at Dana until he resigned last week, would be retiring and stepping down from the board on November 8.
Mr Cross has been a non-executive director of Parkmead since October 2006 and in that time has built up a shareholding in the Aim-listed company of about 28%.
He said he was going through an intensive handover to Dana’s new owner, and it was going well. He described KNOC as an “excellent business with ambitions to grow”.
Mr Cross said KNOC was leading South Korea’s drive to secure oil and gas reserves and production and by the end of this year it would get 70,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from Dana. He added: “The move to Parkmead was something I discussed with the Koreans and they agreed I would go there. Parkmead is an exciting opportunity for Aberdeen following the acquisition of Aupec, which was the brainchild of Aberdeen University’s Professor Alex Kemp, who became a director of Parkmead and a shareholder.
“It was inevitable that Dana as a public company would eventually be sold. KNOC has bought Dana to grow it, and I believe the name Dana will be retained.”
Mr Cross said his job at Dana as chief executive of a public company would not exist once Dana delisted from the stock market on Thursday, October 28.
He said he expected KNOC to look for a successor to dovetail with its existing management structure.
He said: “When I took over Dana it was a gold-mining business, which we turned into an oil company. It started very small, but we grew it quickly through gaining exploration licences and by acquisition. I see Parkmead as having similar potential and it will now be my full-time job to get it moving forward. I’m an entrepreneur and my nature is to build things.”
Parkmead employs 20 people and has a market value of about £20million.
Mr Cross will collect more than £34million from the sale of his shares in Dana, which he founded in 1994 with a small group of investors and less than £300,000 of seed capital.
He was named Grampian Industrialist of the Year in 2007.