Bespoke Partners Lands CEO for P2 Energy Solutions

March 7, 2017 – Executive search firm Bespoke Partners has placed J. Scott Lockhart as chief executive officer of P2 Energy Solutions. Partner Carissa Clark in the firm’s Austin office led the search.

Mr. Lockhart will lead P2’s energy-sector software and geospatial data businesses, driving the company forward as it helps upstream oil and gas companies around the globe optimize business performance.

With over 20 years of technology industry expertise, Mr. Lockhart’s track record in solutions for capital-intensive industries is expected to help push P2 to a new level of performance and customer delivery.

Previously, he served as senior vice president of operational excellence and risk management at IHS. That business grew significantly under his leadership, where he oversaw the integration of eight acquisitions which transformed the company into the largest global solution provider in its space.

Culture Fit

“Scott has an exceptional track record leading diverse organizations to even greater success and profitability,” said Mark Bouzek, a P2 board member and Interim CEO. “He had been the outstanding candidate from the outset, with the right experience, cultural fit, and strategic view of our industry. We look forward to him guiding the company’s growth and capitalizing on the extensive opportunities in the upstream sector,” Mr. Bouzek says.

Mr. Lockhart brings a wealth of leadership experience in public and private companies to P2, with executive level positions at ESS, Rolls Royce, Data Systems & Solutions, and SAIC. In each role he had overarching responsibility for strategy and implementation.

“In a challenging market, the oil and gas sector needs to derive maximum value from existing production,” Mr. Lockhart said. “That means containing costs and having the information necessary to make informed assessments about current and future profitability of assets. With digital budgets growing significantly for upstream businesses, it’s an exciting time to be joining P2,” Mr. Lockhart said. “Leveraging the team’s obvious strengths, we will also focus on helping customers improve workforce productivity. No one is better positioned than us to provide solutions and support for these ongoing challenges.”

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P2 Energy Solutions is the world’s largest software and technology company dedicated to the upstream oil and gas industry, with solutions spanning the entire value chain from exploration to decommissioning. More than 1,500 companies use P2 products and services daily to improve decision-making, gain clarity into complex workflow scenarios, and optimize upstream efficiency.

Just recently in a similar search assignment, San Diego-headquartered Bespoke Partners recruited Phil Galati as CEO of Energy Services Group, LLC (ESG). The search firm’s vice president, Bianca Moreno, led that assignment. With more than 25 years of software and services industry experience, Mr. Galati’s career included leadership roles at IBM, Sterling Commerce, Dell and Ernst & Young.

Energy Sector Seeking Top Talent

According to Steve Goodman, who leads the North American energy search practice for Egon Zehnder, it is during difficult times when leadership and innovation are most in demand. Downturns, he said, are all about finding the right balance between positioning to survive and positioning for coming growth. “The demand for leadership in upstream oil & gas and oil field services companies is compelling,” he said. “However, given oil’s current downward pricing pressure, the feverish demand within O&G and oil field services companies has diminished. That said, he noted that Egon Zehnder continues to work on C-suite and board transitions as top leadership requires the ability to not only manage growth, but also navigate cyclical storms ….. Here’s some further reading from Hunt Scanlon Media.

Even In a Deep Downturn, Energy Sector Seeks Leadership
A number of energy specialist recruiters polled by Hunt Scanlon Media recently said ‘economic uncertainty’ and ‘political volatility’ were having a significant impact on petroleum and natural gas companies, but new leadership requirements were surfacing as a result.

A report issued by ManpowerGroup, ‘Strategies to Fuel the Energy Workforce,’ found that 58 percent of energy executives said they struggle to find the talent they need and 74 percent believe the problem will worsen over the next five years. Job categories identified as being in greatest demand included field workers, skilled trades, and highly educated professionals.

The study also found that the talent shortage may already be slowing growth and expansion throughout the sector. By some estimates, there will be three million energy sector jobs by 2020. In the utilities subsector, where half of the workforce is already over the age of 40 — 100,000 net new jobs are projected. Many of the positions, according to recruiters, will require tech-savvy candidates to keep pace with future developments.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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