OSLO – Equinor (EQNR.OL) said on Monday it has appointed Anders Opedal as its new chief executive effective from Nov. 2, replacing Eldar Saetre who will retire after more than 40 years at the Norwegian oil and gas company.
The new CEO, who had been executive vice president for technology, projects and drilling, faces the task of speeding up Equinor’s transformation towards more renewable energy investments, the company said.
Sources last month told Reuters that Opedal was one of four internal candidates short-listed for the top job.
“Equinor is entering a phase of significant change as the world needs to take more forceful action to combat climate change,” Chairman Jon Erik Reinhardsen said in a statement.
“The board’s mandate is for Anders to accelerate our development as a broad energy company and to increase value creation for our shareholders through the energy transition,” he added.
Saetre, the outgoing CEO, in 2018 changed the majority state-owned company’s name from Statoil to Equinor and promised to increase investments in renewables.
“We have a great starting point for what will be a massive transition with our strong assets, outstanding competence, technology and innovation skills,” Opedal said.
“We will accelerate the development of Equinor as a broad energy company and our growth within renewables,” he added.
Opedal, who joined the company in 1997 as a petroleum engineer, has held a variety of jobs over the years, including that of chief operating officer.
He also ran Equinor’s Brazil unit, where the firm plans a big offshore oil expansion in the coming years.