Oil & Gas

Petrofac chief executive to step down next year, replacement named

Energy services giant Petrofac has announced that its chief executive is heading for the exit door.

Sami Iskander will leave the London-listed firm (LON: PFC) at the end of March next year in order to “pursue other interests”.

He will be replaced as CEO by Tareq Kawash, who will take up the mantle on April 1, following an “orderly handover”.

Mr Kawash, who joins the company from engineering mammoth McDermott, will also be appointed as an executive director to Petrofac’s board of directors at that time.

With 30 years’ experience in the engineering and construction industry under his belt, Petrofac says he is “well placed” to build on the foundations laid down by his predecessor.

Mr Kawash has a BSc in mechanical engineering from Tufts University and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia.

He also attended management and leadership programs at Rice University and London’s School of Business.

He said: “I have known Petrofac throughout my career and have always admired its unique execution capability. I look forward to leading the team in the next stage of its journey back to growth and leadership in the sector, building on the excellent progress Sami has made.”

Petrofac, which has a North Sea base in Aberdeen, also thanked Mr Iskander for his “invaluable” contribution as CEO in the last two years.

That included the resolution of a historic investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, as well as a “comprehensive refinancing programme”.

© Shell
Petrofac CEO Sami Iskander

A former Shell vice president, Mr Iskander became Petrofac CEO in November 2020, taking over from long-term boss Ayman Asfari after he announced his retirement.

He speaks fluent English, Arabic, Spanish and French and hold a Bsc in mechanical engineering from the American University in Cairo.

Mr Iskander said: “I joined Petrofac with the task of setting the business on the right course for sustainable growth, resolving historic issues and positioning the Group for the future. After an intense period, Petrofac is today in a stronger position. I am grateful to the people of Petrofac for their support, without which none of these achievements would have been possible. My heartfelt thanks go to all of them.  I will sincerely miss them.”

Mr Kawash’s appointment will be subject to the confirmation of shareholders at the next Annual General Meeting, to be held in May 2023.

Company chairman Rene Medori added: “Sami’s contribution to the Company over the last two years has been invaluable. Having overseen the resolution of the SFO’s historic investigation and led a comprehensive refinancing programme, Sami has reshaped the business and put it firmly on a path to growth. On behalf of the Board and the Company as a whole, I extend my heartfelt thanks to Sami for his unwavering energy, decisive leadership, and passionate ownership of Petrofac’s strategy.

“We are delighted that Tareq Kawash has agreed to join the Board as our new Group Chief Executive. Tareq joins us from McDermott, where he was most recently Senior Vice President of its Onshore and Offshore Business Lines, and a member of McDermott’s Executive Committee. With 30 years’ international EPC leadership experience, and an impressive business development track record, Tareq is exceptionally well placed to build on the foundations laid by Sami. We look forward to welcoming him to Petrofac.”

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