January 18, 2016 / 7:20 AM / 3 years ago

Amec Foster Wheeler says CEO Brikho steps down

Samir Brikho, CEO of Amec attends a session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 29, 2010. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer

(Reuters) - Oil and gas services company Amec Foster Wheeler Plc said chief executive Samir Brikho is stepping down, and appointed chief financial officer Ian McHoul as his interim replacement.

The company slashed its dividend by half in November as it attempts to survive a slump in oil prices - which are now below $30 a barrel.

Brikho, who headed Amec since 2006, oversaw the company’s $3 billion purchase of Swiss engineering group Foster Wheeler in 2014, when oil prices were more than $100 a barrel.

“It serves to highlight the stress on the balance sheet at the moment, caused largely as a result of the Foster Wheeler acquisition, which he was the architect of,” Mirabaud Securities analyst David Thomas said.

Amec said McHoul had not put himself forward for the role.

The company also said trading in 2015 and the start of 2016 was in line with expectations.

Reporting By Mamidipudi Soumithri in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair

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