Bristow Group announced structural and leadership changes to create a strategically realigned and profitable company in an unprecedented downturn.
In this downturn, Bristow’s clients are focused on safety and increasingly, regional efficiency, and the company must respond. The new Bristow will have two primary geographical hubs in key areas of business, Europe and the Americas, resulting in a more regionally focused, cost efficient and competitive business positioned to win more contracts. When complete, these changes will result in a smaller, more nimble company, with the same intense focus on delivering safe, reliable service to customers, and positioned for future growth and profitability.
“Bristow is fortunate to have the proven resources and significant bench strength to operate effectively given these changes,” said Jonathan Baliff, president and chief executive officer. “We remain committed to Target Zero safety and to our continued efforts to improve safety performance. From these two primary hubs, we will concentrate our capabilities to deliver more efficiencies to our clients, as we win more contracts and build a more successful future for Bristow.”
Bristow’s Europe hub includes Africa, Asia, Australia, Norway, UK, Turkmenistan and the Middle East. The company’s Americas hub includes Bristow Academy, U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad, Canada and Brazil. Safety improvement remains the company’s top priority, as these hubs establish the following three priorities of Bristow’s plan to succeed:
- Cost efficiencies, including reducing corporate general and administrative (G&A) costs to approximately 12% of revenues, while also implementing Lean processes and improving productivity;
- Portfolio and fleet optimization, combined with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) cost recoveries and capex reduction to improve liquidity and reduce debt;
- Revenue growth through contract wins in Bristow’s primary hubs with a focus on delivering greater efficiencies to its core oil and gas clients. Bristow plans to bid on approximately 30-40 contracts this fiscal year, many of which are currently held by competitors.
Bristow anticipates that in 12 to 24 months, the company will have higher quality revenue, which includes the $2.3 billion UK SAR contract, with improved cash flow and liquidity.
The structural change into two primary hubs is expected to generate significant cost savings, in part through lower G&A costs. Consequently, Bristow is announcing a number of leadership changes. Alan Corbett has been named vice president Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia (EAMEA) and will be responsible for operations and commercial development in those areas, including Airnorth and Eastern Airways operations. He will also have oversight of commercial support activities, both in Houston and in the two primary hubs. Corbett joined Bristow in 2014, bringing more than 30 years of oilfield service experience to the company. He previously served as Bristow’s regional director for the Europe Caspian Region. Corbett will report directly to Baliff.
Rob Phillips has been named vice president Americas, responsible for operations and business development efforts in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Trinidad, Canada, Suriname, Guyana, Brazil and Bristow Academy. He will also have global oversight of operational infrastructure support activities. Phillips has over 25 years of offshore aviation experience beginning his career as a pilot. He joined Bristow in 2003 and has served in a number of roles at the company, most recently as vice president of global business operations services. Phillips will continue to report to Baliff.
Corbett and Phillips will be supported by a team of leaders with proven track records throughout the industry. They will ensure the delivery of safe, reliable and efficient services to Bristow clients in each of the regions.
As part of this new structure, Chet Akiri, senior vice president and chief commercial officer, and Bill Collins, senior vice president global operations, have departed the company and their respective positions have been eliminated. Additionally, Chip Earle, senior vice president and chief legal and support officer, has also departed the company.
The announced structural changes also include reducing the corporate group targeting government work, and moving oversight of commercial development, government and operational functions to the leaders in these geographic hubs. These structural changes also include the elimination of several other corporate positions.
“I would like to thank Chip, Chet, Bill and our other departing global employees for their contributions that made Bristow a better company,” said Baliff. “I wish them the best in their future endeavors.”
“Significant change in a challenging environment is never easy,” Baliff said, “but Bristow’s willingness to make tough decisions has enabled us to operate in an environment where some others have not. I am confident that the changes we are making today will allow us to strengthen our business through these difficult times and position us to compete successfully and grow our business over the longer term.”