Oil and gas sector

Trends of the industry

In recent years, the key trends in the oil and gas sector have been the increased role of the state and the consolidation of the oil companies. The main players are state-owned companies that control over 50% of the market. Under the pressure of sanctions, industry players are seeking to develop their own technologies or attract those available externally.

Business challenges

Such conditions call for unconventional management strategies. The focus shifts to the vital issues of executive recruitment and the development of top managers with outstanding technical competencies and leadership qualities. There are few such leaders within the industry and competition is fierce among employers. One possible way of filling this gap is to attract managers from other, more dynamic industries, or from abroad.

Our solutions

Ward Howell has been working in the Russian market since 1993. We maintain contacts with both Russian and Western leaders and managers. With our assistance, large enterprises in the industry attract new executives or develop the competencies of their existing managers, drawing on advanced market expertise.


Executive search

We search for top managers across the industry and worldwide using specified criteria. We also analyze the company’s business processes and recommend experts for specific business tasks.

Development programs

We invite international experts and speakers from other industries, and organize meetings and executive workshops.


We analyze the business models of the leading market players, identifying the most successful components and helping to establish them in our client’s companies.



Ward Howell was approached by the shareholders of a Russian oilfield service company to help develop scenarios to solve corporate governance problems.

Description of work done

We presented two scenarios. In the first scenario, it was suggested that one of the shareholders should leave their management role and sell their stake in the company. In the second scenario, both shareholders would assume the role of a member of the Board of Directors and leave management to a hired executive. The second option was chosen. We identified a list of executives from companies with similar corporate governance models and proposed candidates.


Conflicts began developing among the shareholders; they appeared to be no longer satisfied with the current governance model and key decision-making timelines.


A successful candidate was recruited and, within six months, he had built a governance system accommodating the interests of each shareholder. He was later offered a stake in the company.