LONDON, June 28 (Reuters) - Iraqi Kurdistan-focused oil producer Genel Energy has appointed an outsider as chief financial officer, it said on Wednesday, diversifying its board that has been dominated by its Turkish owners since the departure of its two co-founders.
Genel said it had appointed Esa Ikaheimonen to head its finance team, following the departure of CFO Ben Monaghan.
Ikaheimonen, who will start on July 3, recently worked as CFO for drilling companies Transocean and Seadrill after spending about 20 years at Royal Dutch Shell , where he was vice president of finance at Shell’s Africa exploration and production business.
“His extensive industry, commercial, and financial experience will be invaluable to Genel and its growth ambitions, particularly the development of our significant gas assets in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq,” said Genel Chief Executive Murat Oezguel.
Genel has seen a substantial leadership reshuffle in recent months against the backdrop of a steep share price drop over the past three years following two oil reserve downgrades of its main Taq Taq oilfield, failed exploration elsewhere and weak oil prices.
Co-founders Tony Hayward, the former BP CEO, and Nathaniel Rothschild announced their departures in recent months, followed by board member Chakib Sbiti and CFO Monaghan.
Genel’s board is left dominated by some of its Turkish shareholders who are among the country’s richest families.
Genel is now focused on developing its gas fields in Iraqi Kurdistan and is in talks with Turkish state-backed energy firm TEC to become a partner in the project.
Reporting by Karolin Schaps, editing by Louise Heavens