As part of a reorganisation across all levels of the company designed to reduce costs, and adjust to the future needs of the business, the Board of Ophir is to restructure and streamline the senior management team.
The restructuring will result in a smaller Board with the number of Executive Directors reducing from three to two and Non-Executive Directors reducing from six to five.
Dr Bill Higgs has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer, effective 10 September 2014, reporting directly to Nick Cooper, and will join Cooper as the second Executive Director and Board Member.
Lisa Mitchell and Dennis McShane are stepping down from their respective roles as Chief Financial Officer and Director of Strategy and are expected to step down from the Board before the end of 2014. A further announcement will be made in due course confirming the effective dates of Mitchell’s and McShane’a departures.
Lisa Mitchell joined the Board in April 2013, having joined the Company in August 2011. She was closely involved in the various fund raisings since listing which have been critical to Ophir’s development. Dennis McShane joined the Board in 2007 as a Non-Executive Director, agreed to move into an Executive role in February 2013 and has provided much valuable input during his tenures.
Lyn Powell has decided not to stand for annual re-election as a Non-Executive Director in 2015 and will therefore step down from the Board at the conclusion of the 2015 AGM. Powell joined as a Non-Executive Director in 2007 and has been involved in all elements of the Company’s growth since then.
Bill Higgs has over 25 years of global exploration, development and operations experience, the majority with Chevron Corporation. His roles at Chevron included Senior Vice President of Operations for Saudi Arabia Chevron, Reservoir Manager for Tengizchevroil in Kazakhstan, Asset Manager for the BBLT development in Block 14 Angola and General Manager for Strategy for Chevron Corporation.
In his time at Chevron he was also a member of the Corporate Reserves Audit Committee and the Decision Review Boards for the Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG developments in Australia. Higgs has spent the last two and a half years as Chief Executive Officer of Mediterranean Oil & Gas plc, which was recently acquired by Rockhopper Exploration plc. Higgs has a BSc in Geological Sciences from the University of Leeds and a PhD in Structural Geology from the University of Wales.
Nicholas Smith, Chairman, commented:
“I am delighted that Bill is joining the Ophir management team as Chief Operating Officer. His operational experience will be crucial to Ophir as it continues its model of exploring for, and monetising, world class assets. The Board and I would like to thank Lisa, Dennis and Lyn for their several tremendous contributions to Ophir’s growth over the past few years. Ophir would not be the company it is today without their unstinting efforts.”
Nick Cooper, CEO, commented:
“As Ophir grows, we need to adapt the Company’s organisation and cost structure to its future business needs. This new management structure will better serve the Company’s ambitions. The current Board and management team have achieved their objective of creating value and establishing Ophir as a front rank independent explorer. I would like to put on record my thanks to Lisa, Dennis and Lyn for their exceptional contributions and they leave with all our best wishes for their future endeavours.
The reconfigured Board is now charged with driving the next stage of Ophir’s growth as a leading exploration company. I am very pleased that Bill is joining me in the Executive team. His appointment adds significant further exploration, operational and LNG experience to Ophir.“