Keith Spence will succeed Peter Coates as chairman of Santos in February next year.
Spence, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry, has previously held senior positions with Woodside Petroleum and Shell.
He will retire from the board of Oil Search before taking the Santos position, but remains chairman of Base Resources and a director of Independence Group and Murray and Roberts Holdings.
Spence was also the previous chairman of the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority.
The incoming chairman said he was honoured to be appointed to the role to succeed Coates.
“Peter has worked tirelessly with (chief executive) Kevin Gallagher and his team over the past two years to turn Santos into a less complex and more resilient company,” Spence, who will initially join the Santos board in January, said.
Coates said he was confident that Santos was now positioned to deliver future success and provide sustainable shareholder value.
“Keith Spence is ideally placed to take over as chairman. He brings extensive global oil and gas experience to the board,” Coates said.
Coates revealed that he would step down as chairman in May this year. He was first chairman at Santos from December 2009 to May 2013, before being reappointed to the role in April 2015.