Watson succeeds Keiller as Wood Group CEO

Wood Group chief executive Robin Watson (second from right)

Aberdeen-based global oil services giant Wood Group said its chief operating officer Robin Watson would succeed veteran Bob Keiller as chief executive officer on January 1.

Wood Group said Keiller, 51, “decided to retire” on December 31.

Keiller said: “I will miss Wood Group, but will have the satisfaction of knowing that it is in good hands and on a personal note I have several business interests that I am looking to develop.”

Wood Group makes about $7 billion in annual sales and employs more than 40,000 people in more than 50 countries, but has been forced to cut its workforce by about 13% this year due to tough business conditions in oil and gas.

Watson has served on the Wood Group board since 2013.

“Robin was identified as the stand out candidate to succeed Bob as part of our succession planning process, and we believe that his knowledge and experience will ensure an orderly transition,” said Ian Marchant, Wood Group chairman.

“Robin has been with the group since 2010, has more than 25 years’ oil & gas industry experience and his appointment provides important continuity for our people and customers.”

In 2014, Watson won the Institute of Director’s global director of the year award and was the IoD Scotland’s director of the year.

Watson is a board member of Oil & Gas UK and the Oil & Gas Contractors Council. He is a visiting professor at Robert Gordon University.

Before joining Wood Group, Watson worked for Petrofac and Mobil Oil in UK and international roles.

Watson said: “Wood Group is a great success story thanks to an exceptional leadership team and dedicated people with unparalleled technical expertise.

“Together, these are the fundamentals of a successful service business. I look forward to leading the team as we develop and execute our strategy to support our global customer base as we continue developing innovative and cost efficient solutions.”