Mr Thompson, who joined Tullow as an independent non‑executive Director in May 2011, will succeed Mr Pat Plunkett who, after 11 years in the role, announced earlier this year his intention to stand down as Chairman as soon as practicable.
Mr Thompson (52) brings extensive leadership, management, operating and financial expertise in the natural resources sector as well as broad international experience, particularly in Africa and South America.
Mr Thompson graduated from University College, Oxford with a degree in Geology in 1981. After four years in international banking in the Middle East he spent 10 years in investment banking, working for N M Rothschild and S G Warburg, where his principal focus was providing corporate and project finance advice to companies in the mining and oil and gas sector. In 1995 he joined Minorco SA and in 1997 became President of their Brazilian operations. In 1999 he joined Anglo American in South Africa, after it merged with Minorco, and held a number of senior positions including Chief Executive of the Base Metals Division, Chairman of the Exploration Division, Chairman of the Tarmac Group and Non Executive Director of AngloGold Ashanti. Mr Thompson became a member of the Executive Committee of Anglo American plc in 2003 and an Executive Director in 2005.
Since leaving Anglo American in 2007, Mr Thompson has served on a number of boards and is currently a non‑executive Director of Newmont Mining Corporation (USA), one of the world’s largest gold producers; Sandvik AB (Sweden), a global engineering and technology group; and Amec plc (UK), a provider of engineering, project management and environmental consultancy services to the oil and gas, mining and energy industries.
Mr Plunkett joined the Board of Tullow in 1998 and became non‑executive Chairman in 2000. During his tenure as Chairman, the Company has grown from a market capitalisation of £275 million to the leading independent Oil and Gas Group it is today with a market capitalisation of close to £13 billion. As well as stepping down as Chairman, Mr Plunkett will retire as a director on 31 December 2011.
Pat Plunkett commented today:
“I am delighted that Simon Thompson is to succeed me as Chairman. He has been an excellent addition to the Board since his appointment earlier this year and his expertise in natural resources and investment banking combined with his extensive experience of working in Africa will prove invaluable as he guides Tullow during its expansion in the years ahead.”
Simon Thompson also commented today:
“This is a very exciting time to become Chairman of Tullow. Under Pat Plunkett’s guidance, Tullow has grown spectacularly over the past 11 years with major exploration and production successes, especially in Africa. I look forward to working with the Board and the wider Tullow team as we build on these successes and continue the growth of the Company into the future.”
Aidan Heavey, Chief Executive Officer of Tullow Oil plc, said:
“I am especially pleased to welcome Simon as our new Chairman. Since joining the Board he has made a notable contribution to Tullow and I look forward to working with him in the exciting years ahead. I would also like to wish Pat Plunkett well for the future, he has been a critical guiding hand for Tullow over the past 11 years. Throughout our period of rapid expansion that began with the acquisition of a portfolio of UK gas assets in 2000, Pat has consistently provided me and my fellow directors with wise counsel, shrewd advice and firm leadership. He will be greatly missed by me and by my fellow Board members.”
Tullow Group Overview
Tullow is a leading independent oil & gas, exploration and production group, quoted on the London, Irish and Ghanaian (symbol: TLW) stock exchanges and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. The Group has interests in over 90 exploration and production licences across 22 countries and focuses on four core areas: Africa, Europe, South Asia and South America.
In Africa, Tullow has production in Ghana, Gabon, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritania, Congo (Brazzaville) and Equatorial Guinea with two large appraisal and development programmes in Ghana and Uganda. Tullow also has exploration interests in Gabon, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mauritania, Senegal, Tanzania, Madagascar, Namibia, Kenya and Ethiopia.
Tullow’s European interests are focused on gas in the UK Southern North Sea where it has significant interests in the Caister-Murdoch System and the Thames area and in the Netherlands where it has offshore gas production, development and exploration opportunities.
In South Asia, Tullow has exploration and production in Bangladesh and exploration interests in Pakistan. In South America, Tullow has exploration interests in Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname.