Aker Kvaerner adjusts group structure

Aker Kvaerner will implement changes to theGroup's operating structure with effect from 1 January 2003. With the new and more streamlined structure, the Group reduces staff and management layers. It reinforces its hands-on management of projects, customer relations and business streams, and creates a more flexible organisation fit for the current economic climate, according to a company press release. In the new structure, the operations will be divided into the following six Business Areas: Field Development Europe - Maintenance, modifications and operations (MMO) Europe - Oil, Gas & Process International - Subsea and Oilfield Products - E&C Americas - E&C Europe. The Fiberline and Power units of today's Pulp & Paper business area will be brought into the E&C Europe business, while Chemetics and regional activities in Australia will report to E&C Americas. Asia Pacific regional activities will be included in Oil, Gas & Process International. Aker Kvaerner's shipbuilding activities will continue to be managed by the Aker Kvaerner Yards management company. The new operating structure will lead to adjustments in the Group management. Jon Erik Reinhardsen, currently head of the Oil & Gas business in Houston will be appointed Group Executive Vice President (Group EVP). Together with Group President and CEO Helge Lund, Group EVP and CFO Trond Westlie and Group EVP and Chief of Staff Finn Berg-Jacobsen, Mr Reinhardsen will form the Group Executive Team (see chart). Three of the six new business areas will be managed out of Houston. Keith Henry and Sverre Skogen, presently heads of the E&C and Oil & Gas business areas will continue to work closely with the Group CEO and management in senior advisory roles for a period of time. Athol Trickett currently head of the Pulp & Paper business area will continue to head the Power and Fiberline divisions, reporting to the EVP for E&C Europe. "After having regained our strength and flexibility through a comprehensive financial and industrial restructuring, and completed the merger with Aker Maritime Oil & Gas, this is a next logical step in the transformation of Aker Kvaerner," Helge Lund, Group President and CEO commented. "We will further concentrate our efforts on improving our existing businesses. We believe we have a particular strength within project execution, technology products and integrated solutions. The new organisation will facilitate sharing of best practice and ensure a more flexible utilisation of our resources." "Ultimately this will lead to a more efficient Group with less organisational levels from top management to the projects and operating units. We will be better located to service our global customer base, and respond even quicker to our customer's requirements. Gradually we will also position ourselves to be more active in the strategic reshaping of our business", Mr Lund added. The new operating structure and members of the management team will be presented at the planned Capital Markets Day in Oslo on 10 December 2002. The Aker Kvaerner Group has more than 34 000 own employees in more than 30 countries. According to the company statement, the Group is a leading provider of project execution services, technology products and integrated solutions to a number of industries. Its customers are mainly within the following sectors: Oil & gas, process, pharmaceutical, metals, power, chemical pulping, environmental and shipowners.