Murphy Oil USA Turns To Outsider To Lead Its Downstream Spin

After deciding to pursue a spinoff, one of the next big decisions facing a company is figuring out who will lead the new company. After all, one of the ‘value drivers’ of a spin is highly focused management…but that only helps if they know what they are doing. That is why most companies just end up promoting from within, but occasionally outsiders are brought in, a move which always raises questions about the quality of the current management team.

That seems to be the case at Murphy Oil (MUR), which recently announced that it had selected current Booz & Company partner R. Andrew Clyde to serve as CEO of its downstream spinoff company, Murphy Oil USA. Perhaps the board had a thing for the throatiness of the letter ‘R’ or…perhaps it was his 20+ years of consulting experience focusing ‘on the downstream value chain and gasoline and convenience retailing.’ In fact, a big part of his prior life was providing advice to Murphy’s U.S. retail business and he has even been leading the development of the unit’s future business strategy. So this will really be like a continuation of that role, except he will likely get paid a heckuva lot more money. Not bad. Perhaps by bringing Mr. Clyde in-house the company will be able to improve its operating margins by cutting down on those expensive consulting fees?

It’s always interesting to see who a company chooses to lead a new company and it certainly seems like Mr. Clyde is a solid choice as he is both an expert in the space and in Murphy’s operations.

For all of our coverage of Murphy’s upcoming spinoff, click here.

Disclosure: Author holds no position in any stock mentioned.