London, UK,

Don’t waste a crisis

John Pearson, Group President, Northern Europe and CIS

John PearsonWhat do I mean by that? Well there is nothing like a low oil price, combined with a major merger, to concentrate the mind and make us focus on synergies and make the most of the combination, rather than continue business as usual.

You’d think that trying to implement a major corporate merger in the midst of an oil price slump wouldn’t be much fun but I’m absolutely sure we are stronger together. In fact the more I find out about our new colleagues and capabilities, the more impressed I am. Culturally, there are a lot of similarities and this means people are getting on well and very matter-of-factly with working together to collaborate effectively.

Recently I’ve been basing myself in the Reading office, the former Foster Wheeler headquarters. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting an appreciation of the breadth of work executed in Capital Projects (Reading), often in countries and with customers new to my old AMEC heritage.

This makes more diversified business, able to weather the vagaries of the market.

We also have new capabilities where one and one are making more than two – and the oil price means for oil & gas customers we are having to innovate, work together, and deliver a combined offering for our customers where in the past we might have been complacent.

Many of our customers are facing big challenges and that gives us real opportunities to do something different, helping our customers to save costs and us to win more work.

After a lifetime of running I recently switched to cycling – a lower impact sport to try and ensure I keep my knees into my old age! I’m getting the same benefits to my well-being but thinking differently about how I get them. The same principal applies here: companies that can adapt to changing market conditions are the ones that will emerge stronger from a slump and more fit for the future.

Meet the blogger

Before taking the role of Group President, Northern Europe & CIS on 1 January 2015, John was Group President of Europe and, prior to that, he was Managing Director of the Oil & Gas business in Europe and West Africa. He joined the company in 1990 and has worked in a variety of roles in engineering and project management. In the past, John has led the company’s Oil & Gas projects and Asset Support business streams globally. Prior to joining the business, John worked for Chevron and has worked around the world, having spent time based in Aberdeen, San Francisco, Baku and London. John is currently joint contractor co-chair of Oil & Gas UK and sits as a board member for PILOT, the Fiscal Forum and the OGA.

John holds a BSc Honours Engineering degree from Aberdeen University.