Our Senior Team

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

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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
    Sir Michael is currently a member of the International Advisory Board of Investcorp, an alternative investment management company; Chairman of Avanton Ltd, a property development firm; and a member of the Advisory Board of HIN Global (cyber security).

    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 Nomination Committee.

    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 Deputy Chairman at Wentworth Resources, and Non-Executive Director at Petro Matad, Sval Energi AS, and Rockhopper Exploration plc.

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  • George Rose
    George Rose
    Independent Non-Executive Director
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    Appointed
    2 June 2011.

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

    Key skills and experience
    George brings with him recent and relevant financial experience. Until March 2011 George served as the Group Financial Director and member of the Board of BAE Systems plc a position he held for 13 years. George is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and has a wealth of experience in governance to draw on from his former appointment as Non-Executive Chairman of the Audit Committee of Laing O’Rourke plc amongst other appointments.

    Current external appointments
    George is the Senior Independent Non-Executive Director of Experian plc and on 16 February 2016 George was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of EXPO 2020 LLC.

    Previous relevant experience
    George retired from the Board of National Grid plc in July 2013, where he served as a Non-Executive Director and was Chairman of the Audit Committee. Other past Non-Executive Directorships include Orange plc and Saab AB. He was previously a member of the UK’s Financial Reporting Review Panel and the Industrial Development Advisory Board. George’s earlier career consisted of several financial management positions in the automotive sector, at Ford Motor Company, Leyland Vehicles Ltd and the Rover Group.

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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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  • Martin Gudgeon
    Martin Gudgeon
    Independent Non-Executive Director
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    Appointed
    11 September 2017.

    Committee memberships
    Chairman of the Remuneration Committee and member of the Audit Committee.

    Key skills and experience
    Martin Gudgeon has significant financial and corporate experience, and is a Partner at PJT Partners. Prior to joining PJT Partners he worked at Blackstone for eight years, serving as a Senior Managing Director, and was the Chief Executive at Close Brothers Corporate Finance. Before that, he was at Hill Samuel, including two years on secondment to Macquarie Bank in Sydney, Australia.

    Current external appointments
    None.

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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
    Member of the Audit Committee and the 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
    read more

    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
    read more

    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. Paul has over 30 years of global experience in oil and gas operations. Prior to Tullow Oil, he previously spent 13 years at Talisman, where he was VP Production & Exploration, leading operations at block PM3 at the Malaysia/ Vietnam maritime border, Talisman’s largest operated asset. He previously worked at Nippon Oil and Total Fina Elf.

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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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