Santos CEO steps down

Santos head David Knox has announced he will resign from the leadership of the energy company.

It comes on the back of share price pressure caused by weak markets and  approaches from other businesses regarding acquisition of Santos assets, which saw the board carry out a “a full strategic review to examine all options to restore and maximise shareholder value,” Santos explained in a company statement.

This review has resulted in Knox stepping down once a successor is appointed.

Santos chairman Peter Coates will assume the role of executive chairman in the meantime, and continue the strategic review, with the aid of Deutsche Bank and Lazard.

“After seven years as CEO, and with the commencement of production at the company’s GLNG project now imminent, the board and David have agreed that it is an appropriate time to institute a succession of leadership,” Coates said.

“Until he steps down as CEO, David will remain in his role responsible to the board for all the company’s operations and projects.

“At the same time, the board is determined to address the impact of the fall in global oil prices on the company’s share price relative to other oil and gas companies.

“We are undertaking a thorough strategic review of all options to restore and maximise shareholder value in the face of the continuing pressure on oil prices, globally,” he said.

“Given that we have announced a succession process for David, I will lead the process and can assure shareholders that we are acting with the greatest possible speed to determine the best course of action, but we will not be taking any shortcuts.”

In the meantime the company will continue talks with companies that have approached in terms of asset acquisitions and strategic partnerships.

“No options will be ruled out from consideration, but neither is any particular option a preferred course at this time,” Coates said.


Image: Adelaide Now/  Lyndon Mechielsen

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