Wood Group chief executive Bob Keiller said yesterday steps taken since he took on the top job meant the international energy service giant was on the road to becoming a world-class company.
The boss of the Aberdeen-based business for nearly six months said the firm was already in good health, but added: “The best time to make changes to your business is when you don’t have a crisis looming over you.”
He joined Wood Group when his previous firm, PSN, was bought for £606million in 2011.
He succeeded Allister Langlands in the top post at the end of October when the former chief executive replaced Sir Ian Wood as Wood Group’s chairman.
Since then, Mr Keiller said he had focused on bringing the company’s 43,000 people and three divisions – Wood Group PSN, GTS and Engineering – closer together.
“It has been an interesting and challenging six months due to the size and shape of the organisation,” he added.
“We have put a much higher priority on internal communications and I now spend a lot of time in direct contact with employees from all over the world.
“It makes the company feel smaller and tighter, rather than larger.”
Mr Keiller said Wood Group’s management had also been overhauled, with the appointment of Sue MacDonald as group director of human resources and Trish Sentance as group head of HSE meaning the firm has two women in its senior leadership team for the first time.
The new chief executive’s changes have also included a review of Wood Group’s approach to lump-sum and fixed-price contracts. Mr Keiller said tighter controls and limits had been put in place, “removing the potential for us to take on projects that, economically, we maybe should not be doing”.
He said that the work done in the past six months had positioned Wood Group – which revealed a 20% rise in annual turnover to £4.5billion last month – to continue its success in future, adding: “We have made a number of tweaks, but I think that will be the case for a long time.
“Wood Group has been very successful and continues to be very successful – we are not trying to fix a problem, we are trying to improve on the great company Allister Langlands and Sir Ian Wood built.
“My ambition is that, having brought PSN into the mix and seen the collective strengths of the group, to transform Wood Group from a great company into a world-class company.”