Worley names Chris Ashton as chief executive officer and managing director

Ashton and his family will establish their residence in Australia

Chris Ashton, newly appointed chief executive officer and managing director of Worley.
Chris Ashton, newly appointed chief executive officer and managing director of Worley.

Worley announced the appointment of Chris Ashton as the CEO and managing director of Worley effective 24 February 2020, following the retirement of Andrew Wood.

Worley’s chairman, John Grill, said: “Andrew Wood has had a distinguished career with Worley spanning 26 years, with the last seven as our CEO. Andrew’s contribution has been fundamental to creating the global company we are today.”

Under Andrew’s strong leadership, we successfully restructured Worley to realign our operations through a period of rapid change in the markets we serve, and then doubled the size of the business through the acquisition of the Energy, Chemicals and Resources (ECR) division of Jacobs to create the global leader across Worley’s core market segments.

“The board and management thank Andrew for his significant and valuable contribution to Worley and wish him well in his retirement.”

Ashton has been at Worley since 1998 and has held many leadership roles in the company. Prior to the appointment as CEO, Ashton was Worley chief operating officer (COO), responsible for the integration of ECR and for strategy for the transformed Worley business. Previously, Chris was accountable for the growth and performance of the major projects and integrated solutions portfolio, which includes Worley’s fabrication businesses, WorleyCord and Rosenberg Worley, and its Global Delivery Center. Ashton has also held executive roles with responsibility for Europe, Middle East and African operations, and the power sector globally.

Focused on developing high performance teams and delivering results, Chris brings deep commercial and financial expertise to the role, and a strong track record of leadership across Worley. Chris holds a degree in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of Sunderland, an MBA from Cranfield School of Management, and has completed the Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School as well as the AICD Company Directors Course.

Commenting on his appointment, Ashton said: “It is a great privilege to assume the leadership of this great company. The next decade will see unprecedented change in the energy, chemicals and resources industries which we serve. Our customers are being driven by having to address two fundamental structural disruptions – the energy transition and changes resulting from the adoption of digital processes.

“Against a background of unprecedented change, Worley has a critical role to play and, importantly, a positive contribution to make to our customers and to the lives of those in the communities in which we operate. I am confident we have built the foundation upon which we will look to transform not just what we do but how we do it.”

“After more than 20 years with Worley, I know the company, its customers and stakeholders well. I am looking forward to visiting offices, fabrication yards, customers, job sites and investors in the very near future,” Ashton said.

Worley’s chairman said: “The board is looking forward to working with Chris as we enter a very dynamic period for Worley. After a thorough internal and external search process undertaken as part of our standard succession planning processes, Chris was identified as the successor for the CEO role. This is the right time for new leadership and the board has confidence in Chris’ experience, commitment and focus.”

In energy, chemicals and resources, Worley has become a global leader, built from humble beginnings as an Australian professional services company into one of Australia’s true global companies with operations in more than 50 countries.

On retiring, Wood commented: “My time at Worley has been exhilarating and challenging. I have been fortunate to have had the support of this incredible organisation, the leadership team and the Board. Together, we have created a unique global business that will continue to make a significant difference in meeting the world’s future energy, chemicals and resource challenges.”

Wood will remain with Worley to advise the board and the CEO until the end of this financial year. He will resign as managing director from the Worley board after the board meeting approving the interim results effective 24 February 2020.

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