Oil and gas firm EnQuest (LON: ENQ) has named a diamond and mining industry veteran as its new chairman.
From today, December 6, former-De Beers boss Gareth Penny will take up the position on the London-listed North Sea operator’s top team.
He replaces incumbent Martin Houston, who announced his intention to step down in June.
EnQuest chief executive, Amjad Bseisu, said: “On behalf of the board and the management team, I would like to thank Martin for his important contribution to EnQuest during his tenure and our senior independent director, Howard Paver for running a thorough succession process.
“I would like to also welcome Gareth as our new Chairman for the next stage of our journey.
“With his extensive board level experience, Gareth will provide invaluable contributions to EnQuest as we continue to execute on our strategy.”
Gareth Penny – an overview
Mr Penny will also become chairman of EnQuest’s governance and nomination committee.
The Oxford-educated mining veteran brings a “wealth of board level experience” to the North Sea company, having previously chaired public and private groups.
As it stands, South African-born Mr Penny is chairman of investment management firm Ninety One.
Previously he headed up Norilsk Nickel, Russia’s largest diversified mining and metals company, a position that attracted some criticism following Putin’s attack on Ukraine.
He also served on the board of Julius Baer Group for 12 years.
Over his career, the 59-year-old has built up extensive experience in extractive industries, having spent 22 years with mining giants De Beers and Anglo American.
His last five years with diamond specialist De Beers were spent as group chief executive.
Mr Penny said: “I am delighted to be joining EnQuest at this exciting time in the Company’s development. EnQuest is a transition company, being a proven leader in late-life asset management and has an exciting opportunity to repurpose assets and deliver on its decarbonisation ambitions. I look forward to working with my Board colleagues and the management team as we implement EnQuest’s strategy.”
EnQuest announced earlier this year that Mr Houston, who took on the non-executive role in October of 2019, would leave the company to focus on other business interests.
The firm praised his leadership and work to progress the company’s strategic objectives, particularly his role in reducing net debt.
Mr Houston also brought “greater diversity of gender, background and skills to the board” through a series of non-executive director recruitments, EnQuest said.
Mr Houston added: “I am delighted that Gareth has been appointed to the Board as my successor. His extensive board experience will be valuable as EnQuest navigates the energy transition. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with my colleagues on the EnQuest Board and the Company has made significant progress over the last three-years.”