Røkke taken back by Lund's resignation

Foto: Scanpix

Kjell Inge Røkke believed that Helge Lund had already turned down the Statoil job when he got the surprising message that Lund indeed had accepted the job. Røkke allegedly reacted with sadness, disappointment and anger.

09.03.04 10:45

Kværner’s group CEO Helge Lund accepted the top executive job in Statoil. Røkke was still unaware that Lund was even considering taking the job Friday afternoon, according to the Norwegian paper BG.

The surprising information allegedly made Røkke call Lund immediately, and Lund confirmed that he was considering taking the offer. Saturday night, Lund informed he was planning to accept the offer from Statoil.

According to VG, Røkke was very surprised when he was informed that Lund considered quitting his job at Aker Kværner. Røkke allegedly believed Lund had already declined the offer from Statoil.

Røkke’s reaction was allegedly a combination of frustration, sadness, disappointment and anger, but also of pride.

«I think Kjell Inge is really proud,» said a source to the paper. «He feels he has played a part in bringing Helge Lund to the position he has today.»

Røkke started damage control immediately as he was well aware that Aker Kværner would have great problems keeping the strict time schedule in the planned restructuring without a CEO. During Sunday, it become clear that Statoil’s acting CEO, Inge K. Hansen, who now was without a job, was willing to take over Lund’s job in Aker Kværner.

Røkke called a board meeting Sunday night. The board supported their chairman’s recommendation, and Statoil’s acting CEO suddenly became head of one of Statoil’s most important suppliers, changing places with Lund.

Old friends
Røkke and Hansen are old friends. Hansen was head of Røkke’s Enskilda Securities for six years.

The market reacted positively on the changes in both Statoil and Aker Kværner, particularly the Aker Kværner stock did well on the stock exchange with a recorded rise of more than 5 percent.

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