Our Senior Team

A strong Board with demonstrable skills and experience in international oil and gas markets.

The leadership team is constituted of the Executive Committee, focused on functional and operational delivery, and the Strategy Council, focused on the optimal delivery of growth and ESG strategies, as Genel aims to deliver our ambition of being a world-class creator of shareholder value, while fulfilling our goal of being a socially responsible contributor to the global energy mix.

  • David McManus
    David McManus
    Chairman
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    Appointed
    5 February 2020.

    Committee memberships
    Chairman of the Nomination Committee and member of the HSSE, Reserves and International Relations Committees.

    Key skills and experience
    David has vast experience as an international business leader in the energy sector with strong technical and commercial skills. He has over 40 years in technical, commercial, business development, general management and executive roles across all aspects of the oil & gas and energy business, spanning most regions of the world.

    Current external appointments
    David is currently serving as a Non-Executive Director for a number of listed companies including Hess Corporation, a large, integrated US oil and gas company; FlexLNG, a Norwegian-listed LNG shipping company, and Costain plc, one of the UK’s leading smart infrastructure solutions providers.

    Previous relevant experience
    David retired as a Non-Executive Director from the Board of Rockhopper Exploration plc in May 2019, where he served as Chairman from 2016 to 2019. Other past Directorships include Caza Oil & Gas Inc and Cape plc, where he served as Chairman from 2006 to 2008. David’s earlier career consisted of a number of executive positions including at Pioneer Natural Resources, where he was executive vice president for international operations, BG Group, Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), LASMO plc, and Shell UK.

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  • Bill Higgs
    Bill Higgs
    Chief Executive Officer
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    Appointed
    As an Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer on 7 April 2019.

    Committee memberships
    Member of the Reserves Committee.

    Key skills and experience
    Bill has nearly 30 years of global exploration, development and operations experience, including over five years in executive roles for independent E&P companies. He is a qualified geologist with extensive expertise in all engineering and other technical and commercial aspects of hydrocarbon development and production. Most recently, as Chief Operating Officer for Ophir Energy plc, he was responsible for managing the global asset portfolio. Prior to joining Ophir he was CEO of Mediterranean Oil and Gas, overseeing the successful sale of the company in 2014. Bill previously spent 23 years at Chevron across a number of global roles.

    Previous relevant experience
    Between August 2014 and July 2017 was a director of Ophir Energy plc, and of San Leon Energy from 2018 to 2020.

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  • Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon KCB
    Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon KCB
    Senior Independent Non-Executive Director and Deputy Chairman
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    Appointed
    5 February 2020.

    Committee memberships
    Chairman of the International Relations Committee and member of the Remuneration Committee and Nomination Committee.

    Key skills and experience
    Sir Michael is a former UK Defence Secretary with 30 years of senior political and business experience, serving in four British Cabinets, and as a Non-Executive Director on City and commercial boards.

    Current external appointments
    In May 2021 Sir Michael was appointed as Chairman of Aberdeen Standard Investcorp Infrastructure Partners, an alternative investment management company which he joined in 2018 as a member of the advisory board. Sir Michael is also Chairman of Avanton Ltd, a property development firm; a member of the Advisory Board of HIN Global (cyber security); and Deputy Chairman of Nova Innovation, a tidal energy company.

    Previous relevant experience
    Sir Michael was Energy Minister in the UK Government from 2013-2014: responsible for oil, gas, electricity, nuclear and renewables.

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  • Tim Bushell
    Tim Bushell
    Independent Non-Executive Director
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    Appointed
    11 September 2017.

    Committee memberships
    Chairman of the HSSE and Reserves Committees, and member of the Audit and Nomination Committees.

    Key skills and experience
    Tim Bushell is a qualified geologist with over 35 years’ experience working in the oil and gas sector. He has worked at British Gas, Ultramar, LASMO, and Paladin Resources. Most recently Tim spent a decade as Chief Executive Officer at Falkland Oil and Gas Limited, and was co-founder of Core Energy AS.

    Current external appointments
    Tim is a Non-Executive Director and Chairman at Wentworth Resources, and Non-Executive Director at Petro Matada and Sval Energi AS.

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  • Nazli K Williams
    Nazli K Williams
    Non-Executive Director
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    Appointed
    21 November 2011.

    Key skills and experience
    Nazli has experience in managing and leading large corporations. Between 2004 and August 2014 Nazli worked at Digiturk, a leading satellite broadcasting network. She was Chief Content Officer between 2007 and August 2014, with primary responsibility for overseeing all content acquisitions, production and creative services (including on-air promotion and print TV guides) and overall content strategy.

    Previous relevant experience
    Until 2013 Nazli was also a board member of Turkcell lletişim Hizmetleri A.Ş a leading GSM operator in Turkey. Turkcell’s shares trade on the Istanbul (IMKB) and New York Stock Exchanges (NYSE).

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  • Ümit Tolga Bilgin
    Ümit Tolga Bilgin
    Non-Executive Director
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    Appointed
    5 February 2020.

    Committee memberships
    Member of the International Relations Committee.

    Key skills and experience
    Tolga Bilgin has current experience within the energy sector as CEO and Deputy Chairman of Bilgin Enerji Yatirim Holding A.S. and has held this position since 2014. Bilgin Energy is one of the largest companies within the Turkish energy sector. Through his current role and various positions held at Bilgin Energy managing the development, financing and execution of wind, hydro and thermal energy projects, Tolga brings experience in management, leadership, M&A and project financing to the Board.

    Current external appointments
    Since 2006 Tolga has been serving as the Chairman of the Wind Power and Hydropower Plants Businessmen’s Association and was also appointed as Deputy Chairman of Turkish Electricity Producers Association in 2018.

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  • Hassan Gozal
    Hassan Gozal
    Non-Executive Director
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    Appointed
    5 February 2020.

    Committee memberships
    Member of the International Relations Committee.

    Key skills and experience
    Hassan Gozal has significant international business experience in the energy, oil & gas, construction and property development sectors as well as with public private partnership (PPP) projects in the healthcare sector. Hassan is the sole owner and Chairman of Daax Corporation FZE. Through his current roles and previous positions, Hassan brings regional knowledge and an understanding of business development to the Board.

    Current external appointments
    Hassan is currently the owner and Chairman of Santevita Hospital Management BV, a company recently set up to develop new health initiatives in Iraq and the Middle East; Kuraz Enerji A.S., an energy production business in Iraq; Daax Construction MMC, a construction company; and Ocean Energy FZE, an oil trading company.

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  • Canan Ediboğlu
    Canan Ediboğlu
    Independent Non-Executive Director
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    Appointed
    21 June 2020.

    Committee memberships
    Chairman of the Audit Committee and member of the Nomination Committee and International Relations Committee.

    Key skills and experience
    Canan has significant financial, corporate and industry experience. She had almost 30 years’ experience at Royal Dutch Shell, culminating in her role as the country chair and CEO of Shell Turkey between 2001 and 2009. Prior to this she was the CFO of Shell Turkey, preceded by a series of positions at the company across numerous aspects of the business, notably marketing, treasury and planning. Since leaving Shell, Canan has advised a number of companies including Accenture, Maersk and APM Terminals in developing their businesses in Turkey.

    Current external appointments
    Canan is a Non-Executive Director of ING Bank and Tupraş in Turkey, since 2010 and 2017 respectively.

    Previous relevant experience
    Between 2011 and 2017 Canan was a Non-Executive Directorship of Aygaz, a Turkish LPG marketing and distribution company, and between 2013 and 2019 a Non-Executive Director of Prysmian Turkey. Canan is the former President of PETDER (Turkish Association of Petroleum Industrialists) and Chair of the Oil Industry Council Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges and board member of WWF. She is also an active member of various NGOs, and is a board member of the Turkish Autism Society, the Global Relations Forum, and Embarq where she was previously Chairperson for five years – the Centre for Sustainable Transport.

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  • Bill Higgs
    Bill Higgs
    Chief Executive Officer
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    Appointed
    As an Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer on 7 April 2019.

    Committee memberships
    Member of the Reserves Committee.

    Key skills and experience
    Bill has nearly 30 years of global exploration, development and operations experience, including over five years in executive roles for independent E&P companies. He is a qualified geologist with extensive expertise in all engineering and other technical and commercial aspects of hydrocarbon development and production. Most recently, as Chief Operating Officer for Ophir Energy plc, he was responsible for managing the global asset portfolio. Prior to joining Ophir he was CEO of Mediterranean Oil and Gas, overseeing the successful sale of the company in 2014. Bill previously spent 23 years at Chevron across a number of global roles.

    Previous relevant experience
    Between August 2014 and July 2017 was a director of Ophir Energy plc, and of San Leon Energy from 2018 to 2020.

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  • Esa Ikaheimonen
    Esa Ikaheimonen
    Chief Financial Officer
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    Appointed
    As Chief Financial Officer on 3 July 2017 and as an Executive Director on 7 April 2019.

    Key skills and experience
    Over 25 years of oil and gas industry experience, most recently as CFO of publicly listed offshore drilling companies Transocean and Seadrill. Prior to that, he had a c.20 year career at Royal Dutch Shell. Esa holds a Masters Degree in Law from the University of Turku, specialising in tax law and tax planning.

    Current external appointments
    Senior Independent Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of International Oil and Gas plc. Esa is also the Non-Executive Chairman of Lamor Corporation, a leading environmental service company.

    Previous relevant experience
    Between February 2016 and August 2018 Esa was a director of Vantage Drilling International, he was Chairman of Transocean Partners plc from April 2014 to June 2015, and Non-Executive Director of Ahlstrom plc from April 2011 to April 2015.

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  • Mike Adams
    Mike Adams
    Technical Director
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    Formerly Head of Exploration and New Business, Mike was appointed as Technical Director on 1 June 2019, with responsibility for all pre-production activities relating to exploration, appraisal, and new business, as well as the subsurface department. Mike has 28 years of experience in the oil and gas industry in a wide variety of exploration, exploitation and global business development roles. Prior to joining Genel in 2012, Mike worked in a series of technical and leadership positions for companies including British Gas, Amerada Hess, Gulf Keystone Petroleum and Sterling Energy. Mike holds a MSc in Petroleum Geology from Imperial College London and is a Fellow of the Geological Society.

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  • Paul Weir
    Paul Weir
    Chief Operating Officer
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    Paul joined Genel as Chief Operating Officer in January 2020, with responsibility for all production assets and functional leadership of the operational disciplines. Paul has worked for more than 30 years in upstream E&P having spent time in the North Sea, South East Asia and Africa with experience of onshore and offshore Oil and Gas Operations. Before joining Genel, Paul was Group Head of Operations and Safety at Tullow Oil. Prior to that Paul spent 13 years at Talisman, where he was VP Production & Exploration, leading Operations in Malaysia. Before that Paul worked in a variety of Operational roles for Nippon Oil, Elf, Occidental and Total. Paul holds an MBA in Oil & Gas Management from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.

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  • Stephen Mitchell
    Stephen Mitchell
    General Counsel
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    Stephen Mitchell has practiced as a lawyer for over 35 years. Prior to joining the Company he was Vice President – Group Legal with BHP Billiton plc and prior to that he was Group General Counsel and Head of Risk Management at Reuters Group plc, in which he advised on a broad range of matters including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, corporate governance and compliance. Stephen was a partner in Freehills in Australia for six years prior to joining Reuters and holds a BEc and LLB from Monash University in Australia.

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  • Pars Kutay
    Pars Kutay
    Head of Government & Public Affairs
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    Pars Kutay joined Genel in December 2010. Pars is responsible for developing, co-ordinating and implementing policies on government and public affairs as regards countries where we operate. Pars was a partner at AB Consultancy and Investment Services from 1995 to 2010. Between 1984 and 1995 he served in Turkey’s Undersecretariat of Treasury and Foreign Trade. He is a graduate of Law from Ankara University and holds degrees in International Finance and Environmental Law from Ankara University.

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  • VK Gupta
    VK Gupta
    Head of HSE and Risk Management
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    Previously Genel’s Head of HSE, VK was appointed Head of HSE and Risk Management on 1 June 2019. VK has 30 years of experience in oil and gas industry. Immediately prior to joining Genel, he was Vice President for HSSE for BG Group, UK. At the beginning of his career he worked with ONGC and Enron Oil & Gas at offshore oil and gas platforms in operational roles across projects, maintenance and production for twelve years and became an offshore installation manager. Then he moved to HSSE management and worked in India, UK, North Africa and South America for BG Group delivering transformational performance improvement. VK holds a B.Tech Honours in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from Indian Institute of Technology.

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  • Luke Clements
    Luke Clements
    Head of Finance and Planning
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    Luke joined Vallares PLC in October 2011, becoming Deputy Financial Controller at the merged Genel Energy later that year, and Group Financial Controller in April 2015. Luke spent the seven years prior to joining Vallares at KPMG, where he was a Department Senior Manager and Head of the Energy and Natural Resources audit department. Luke holds an LLB from the University of Sheffield.
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  • Berna Özkoç Öztınaz
    Berna Özkoç Öztınaz
    Chief HR Officer
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    Berna joined Genel in June 2020, and has over 20 years of HR experience. Her most recent role was Chief Human Resources Officer at DeFacto. She has been Chairman and Executive Board Member of PERYON (People Management Association of Turkey) and Board Member of European Association of People Management since 2019. Prior to DeFacto, she worked at STFA Holding for 3 years as Strategy and Human Resources Chief Officer. She spent 11 years at ENERJISA, where she held number of leading HR roles and was the Board Member of AYEDAS and BASKENT Electricity Distribution Companies. She previously worked at KORDSA and TURSAB.

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  • Sefa Aytekin
    Sefa Aytekin
    Head of Government Affairs
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    Sefa joined Genel in September 2021, and will be based in Genel’s Istanbul office. Sefa has over 25 years of experience in regional politics, including extensive work in Turkish governmental position, including Foreign Trade Expert and Advisor to the Minister of State, and Head of Foreign Relations for the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. From 2010 to 2017 he was Deputy Undersecretary for Oil & Gas, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, a role that involved extensive work with the Kurdistan Regional Government. More recently, Sefa was Secretary General, Turkish Machine Manufacturers Associations.

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  • Andrew Benbow
    Andrew Benbow
    Head of Communications
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    Andrew joined Genel in 2013 as Head of Public Relations, before becoming Head of Communications in 2018, responsible for strategic communications across all channels targeting all key stakeholder groups – media, local communities, governments, the investment community, ESG agencies, and employees. Andrew has almost 20 years of communications experience, having worked as a consultant at M:Communications for four years, and having spent the previous four years at Chime Communications, where he was an Account Director at Bell Pottinger Corporate and Financial.

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  • Jamie Dykes
    Jamie Dykes
    Head of Legal
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    Jamie has practised as a lawyer for nearly 25 years exclusively in the energy and natural resources sector. Prior to joining Genel he worked at ExxonMobil and was latterly General Counsel of BHP Billiton Petroleum in Houston, Texas. He advises on a wide range of upstream oil and gas related issues including PSCs, JOA’s, Farm in Agreements negotiations and also has particular experience in advising companies in emerging markets on anti bribery and legal compliance issues. Jamie trained at Norton Rose in the City of London and holds an MA from the University of Cambridge.

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  • Cian Toomey
    Cian Toomey
    Head of Business Services
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    Cian joined Genel in November 2019. He is responsible for contracts & procurement, logistics, inventory and planning. Cian has over 20 years of experience leading contracts for major upstream developments  in complex regulatory environments including Angola, Qatar, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, USA, Abu Dhabi and others, working with Maersk Oil, Tullow Oil and Kentz. Cian is an MBA candidate at Henley Business School.

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