Norwegian oil and gas giant Equinor appoints Anders Opedal as new CEO


The Board of Directors of Equinor has appointed Anders Opedal as the new president and CEO from 2 November 2020, replacing Eldar Sætre who will retire after six years as CEO and more than 40 years in the company.

Anders Opedal received a mandate from Equinor’s Board of Directors to accelerate the development of Equinor as a broad energy company and to increase value creation for the company’s shareholders through the energy transition.

“The Board is proud to present Anders Opedal as our next CEO. Equinor is entering a phase of significant change as the world needs to take more forceful action to combat climate change,” says Jon Erik Reinhardsen, Chair of the Board of Directors at Equinor.

Opedal moves from his current role as executive vice president of Technology, Projects and Drilling. He joined Equinor as a petroleum engineer in 1997 and served as Chief Procurement Officer. He later served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer before taking the role as Senior Vice President and country manager Brazil. Opedal holds a Master’s degree in Engineering from The Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTNU) and an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

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Reinhardsen: “Anders Opedal has deep knowledge of and broad experience from the energy sector. He has risen through the ranks of Equinor and has demonstrated outstanding leadership and consistently delivered results exceeding expectations. As the first engineer to become CEO he is passionate about technology, digitalisation and industrial development. A unanimous Board is confident that Anders is the right person to further develop Equinor as a force in the green shift, and together with our dedicated people, further strengthen the company culture and our safety performance.”

Opedal said that he is honoured and proud to take over the responsibility as CEO: “I am confident in Equinor and all our people, and in our ability to change and continue creating long-term value for our shareholders also in a low carbon future. We have a great starting point for what will be a massive transition with our strong assets, outstanding competence, technology and innovation skills, and we have highly engaged people and strong values to guide us in this process. Together, we will accelerate the development of Equinor as a broad energy company and our growth within renewables,”

Opedal will take over the position as president and CEO from 2 November and Eldar Sætre will be available to advise the new CEO until he retires from the company 1 March 2021, at age 65, having started working at the company at the age of 24.

Sætre indicated his intention to retire before summer, allowing the Board to plan a stepwise transition process to give a new CEO time to prepare for taking over the role.

“I have spent my entire working life in Equinor. I love this company and it has been the utmost privilege to work with all the great people in Equinor for the last four decades. I am very proud of what we have achieved together. Thanks to the relentless efforts from competent and dedicated people across the company, Equinor is today a stronger and more competitive company, better prepared for a low carbon future than ever. I know Anders well, and I am confident that he is the right person to lead the company during the next phase of the energy transition,” said Eldar Sætre, outgoing CEO of Equinor.

Opedal will receive a base salary of 9,1 million NOK (approximately $1 million).

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