Karl Fredrik-Staubo – Youth, Energy, Agility, & the Courage of Conviction: Meet the Golar Go-Getters

As the youngest CEO of a NASDAQ-listed company, Karl Fredrik Staubo brings energy and verve to his role at Norway’s Golar LNG Ltd.

CEO: Karl Fredrik-Staubo

CEO: Karl Fredrik-Staubo

With energy industry experience — and the insights of chairman Tor Olav Troim to guide him — Staubo has also benefitted from what he calls “some supportive industry tailwinds”. He and Troim are focused on delivering some exciting developments at Golar.

Troim, a naval architect and a significant Golar shareholder, could be described as “a hands-on resident activist investor”. He has the courage of his convictions and believes in taking bold action. He will back a good idea for the long-term — but remains nimble and flexible enough to pivot when new opportunities present themselves, or circumstances change.

This creates a dynamic and fast-paced business environment — which is where Staubo comes in. An active man such as Troim needs a CEO who can keep up…

Staubo, who has held other executive roles within the Golar group and previously headed shipping on the investment-banking side of Clarksons Platou, quips: “If you dip your hand in, Golar takes your whole arm.”

What differentiates Golar from its peers is unique technical, engineering, and operations capabilities. This has frequently turned Troim’s outside-the-box solutions to industry problems into reliable operating reality.

Troim and Staubo are Norwegian. Inspired by Scandinavian roots and leadership, Golar has a flat organisational structure and an execution model that facilitates agile decision-making. With typical Scandinavian pragmatism — but unlike the LNG industry in general — Golar’s default position is to “keep it simple”. Up- and downstream competitors who take a more complex stance often take years to recreate a comparable offering.

Since Staubo took the helm a year ago, he has overseen Golar’s $5bn sell-off of its gas to power business Hygo Energy Transition, and its Master Limited Partnership to New Fortress Energy. He has reorganised the London office, overseen the publication of Golar’s first ESG report, agreed terms with a cornerstone investor to form Cool Company Ltd — which will own Golar’s shipping assets — and hired top talent to support and grow the upstream FLNG business.

With an equally youthful CFO, Eduardo Maranhao, the pair have refinanced all the company’s short-term debt to create a balance sheet sturdy enough to finance increasing FLNG opportunities.

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