Statoil president and CEO Helge Lund. Image courtesy of Ole Jørgen Bratland/ Statoil.

Statoil’s president and CEO Helge Lund resigned Wednesday to take the top job at BG Group.

Lund has served as Statoil’s CEO since 2004 and guided the company through its merger with Norsk Hydro’s oil and gas division.

Under Lund’s leadership Statoil’s market capitalization increased from $28.5 billion to over $75.5 billion and the company’s production grew from about 1.1 to 1.9 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Lund’s resignation is effective immediately though Statoil said he will be at the company’s “disposal” until March 2015. He will not receive severance pay other than his current salary.

“I could have continued for a period, but there is a time for everything. Renewal is important, both for Statoil and for me. I came to the conclusion that the time was right for a change. I have both the motivation and energy to take on a new leadership challenge, and found this opportunity to be the right one,” Lund said.

Lund, 52, will reportedly receive a base salary of $2.39 million from UK-based BG that could rise to as much as $14.2 million with various incentive programs.

He will take the reigns at BG on March 2, 2015.

Norway-based Statoil has struggled to meet output targets this year after a series of disappointing discoveries and flagging production at North Sea sites.

The company has slashed capital spending, shelved projects and laid off 1,400 employees to cut costs and increase dividends.

Executive vice president of the marketing, processing and renewable energy business area Eldar Sætre has been appointed acting president and CEO.

Statoil has formed a subcommittee to search for a new chief executive.


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