Genel Energy founder and president Sepil retires

Genel Energy founder and president Sepil retires

Merve Erdil - ISTANBUL
Genel Energy founder and president Sepil retires

Hürriyet Photo

Genel Energy PLC has announced the company’s president, Mehmet Sepil, has retired effective immediately in a written statement on Oct. 14. 

Sepil founded Genel Energy and was CEO from 2002 until a merger with Vallares PLC in 2011, when he became president of the company.

“I am still one of the biggest shareholders of the company so my relations will continue in the region where the company has operations. I’ll just not be on the management board. That’s it. It was my decision to quit my position in the company. I would have liked to resign before, but the management members asked me to stay further as new CEO Murat Özgül adapts into his position. I was the person who built contacts with the Kurdish region [in northern Iraq]. Now everyone knows Murat very well,” he told daily Hürriyet in a phone interview. 

Özgül was appointed CEO of the company last July. 

Sepil said his position became pointless and unnecessary after Özgül’s appointment and he also had other investments on which he wanted to focus, such as his İzmir-based football team, Göztepe. 

“I have actually wanted to earn some time to take care of myself and other investments in a more casual way,” he added. 

“The history of the Kurdish region in Iraq’s oil industry cannot be written without Mehmet featuring prominently, and it has been a great pleasure to work with him to establish the company he founded as a respected London-listed oil and gas company. While Mehmet leaves a legacy of a management team with unsurpassed relationships in the region, his expertise will remain on hand as he supports the business as a major shareholder,” said Genel Energy Chairman Tony Hayward. 

Meanwhile, the company has faced several problems amid rising tensions between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq and Baghdad over oil income and escalating security concerns due to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attacks, just as other foreign companies have. Recent delays in the KRG’s payment to foreign companies have put pressure over their finances.