Bob Keiller

Oil & Gas

Keiller named chairman of Scottish Enterprise


The outgoing chief executive of Wood Group has been named as the new chairman of Scottish Enterprise. Industry veteran Bob Keiller, who announced last month he would retire from the top spot at the oil and gas company, will take over from Crawford Gillies next year. Keiller had previously hinted at new opportunities when his departure was made public and said he had several business interests on the horizon.


Bob Keiller: Right Now – Continue to Exceed Your Customers’ Expectations


Bob Keiller sends a message on Core Values to Wood Group employees every week. The note below is taken from a message he sent to employees a few weeks ago. Remember the '80s US rock band Van Halen? Ever heard of a clause buried deep in their lengthy touring contract? It stated something like “there should be no brown M&Ms backstage…if found, the band has the right to cancel the concert at full pay without warning.”


Bob Keiller: The B Side of the playlist on career advice


I’ve received many questions following recent articles on how to manage during difficult times. Readers are asking what specific things they could do, or I have done, or we are planning to turn the generic advice into practical measures. Well, I suppose it all depends. My business situation will be different from everyone else’s, so my decisions may or may not be relevant to others, but I am happy to share some of the tactical options we took to make our business less vulnerable during the current downturn in our industry.


Bob Keiller: Why I Give (and Get) the Best Career Advice from a Playlist


Many of us are old enough to remember buying vinyl albums. After you bought a new one, you would study every detail of the cover, and, then, you would play it repeatedly until you knew every track. Not only that, you knew the order of the tracks. I find good music inspirational. Some of you will already know that I write a weekly message on Core Values to my employees, and I always use a musical reference as a hook. So today, I want to share my playlist for leading in difficult times.


Bob Keiller: Oil price, who knows?


On any given day, you can download multiple financial forecasts of future prices for almost everything from shares in individual companies to the price of wheat, coffee or oil. I am really interested in the expected future price of oil because my company does most of our work in the oil and gas industry. If you read the analysts’ views on the oil price and the rationale behind their forecasts, they all sound credible. In fact, they always have, yet they have often been wrong. Few forecasters predicted the sudden oil price swings up or down over the last few decades, and none of them predicted the collapse in price in the last few months. Today, they can all point to the reasons why it happened and show how obvious it was, so obvious that none of them foresaw it.


Bob Keiller: Walking on the moon


Only two weeks after a pilot was killed during a test flight of a prototype vehicle that should one day allow paying passengers to travel briefly into space, it was fascinating to see that scientists had successfully landed a probe on a comet some 300 million miles away from Earth. The history of space travel is marked with tragedies and illuminated by spectacular achievements. The first manned flight into space by Yuri Gagarin in 1961, the Apollo 8 crew who first saw the dark side of the moon in 1968, and probably one of the highest points in human history when Neil Armstrong was first to set foot on the moon on 21 July 1969 just to name a few.


Video: Help offered for oil workers facing job losses


Wood Group chief executive Bob Keiller has backed the development of a skills-matching “dating service” for thousands of oil and gas industry workers in the north-east who fear losing their jobs. Through Wood Group’s recruitment team, Altablue, workers facing redundancy can start searching for jobs in the public sector, including at Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire councils, the NHS, the fire and police services and at Robert Gordon University.

Oil & Gas

Opinion: My first 90 days – the secret to chasing rabbits


When I was a small child, my granddad and I would sometimes go for walks in the early morning. He said we were picking mushrooms, but I don’t remember us actually picking many. I suspect that it was his cunning way of making time for us to be together. On those walks, we used to see quite a bit of wildlife such as foxes, badgers, deer and rabbits — hundreds and hundreds of rabbits. I would chase them, and, of course, they would simply scatter ahead of me. I never got close. But, I do remember him telling me some time later that the secret of catching rabbits is to concentrate on one at a time. Sometimes this applies to business too, especially as you take on a new role. It’s tempting to try and fix every problem, to make every improvement and to overcome every challenge all at once.