STAVANGER, Norway, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Helge Lund, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian energy company Statoil, announced Wednesday he's leaving to lead British company BG Group.
"I came to the conclusion that the time was right for a change," he said in a statement. "I have both the motivation and energy to take on a new leadership challenge, and found this opportunity to be the right one."
Since Lund's appointment as head of Statoil in 2004, the company increased production from its international portfolio by fivefold while at the same time increasing market capitalization from $29 billion to more than $76 billion.
The company has also unloaded key investments in recent years. This week, the company sold off its stake in the Shah Deniz natural gas field off the coast of Azerbaijan, a project touted as a means to wean the European economy off Russian gas.
In July, Lund announced the company was cutting as many as 1,400 positions in an effort to reduce costs and improve capital efficiency.
He now moves to BG Group, which is among the leaders in the natural gas sectors of Middle East and North Africa.
Upon his appointment, Lund described BG Group as "a company with a strong set of assets and opportunities."
Statoil appointed Eldar Saetre, executive vice president of markets in the Statoil's renewable energy business sector, to serve as interim chief executive officer.