Tullow Oil announced the appointment of Dorothy Thompson as an independent non-executive director and chair-designate of the company on Tuesday, with effect from the conclusion of its annual general meeting on 25 April.
The FTSE 250 firm said it anticipated Thompson would succeed Aidan Heavey, Tullow's current chairman and founder, as chair at the conclusion of the board meeting scheduled for 20 July.

Heavey would retire from the board at the same time.

“I am delighted that Dorothy Thompson is joining Tullow and I wish her well as she takes on her new responsibilities,” said Aidan Heavey.

“Dorothy has exactly the right mix of leadership, managerial, operational and financial experience that Tullow needs.

“I look forward to working closely with Dorothy during the transition period until she takes over as chair in July and I will follow Dorothy and Tullow's progress over the next few years with much interest.”

Tullow's board said 57-year-old Thompson would bring “extensive experience” to the company, having served for 12 years as chief executive officer of Drax Group – the international power and energy trading company – until the end of 2017.

Before joining Drax, Thompson managed InterGen's European power business, was head of project finance at PowerGen and worked at CDC Capital Partners, the private sector arm of the British Government's aid programme.

It said Thompson had “extensive” emerging markets experience, including a period working in the commercial and industrial division of the Bank of Botswana.

She holds a BSc and an MSc in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

“Dorothy Thompson's extensive experience as CEO at Drax will be exceptionally valuable as we work together to position Tullow for growth in what remains an uncertain environment in our sector,” said Tullow's CEO Paul McDade.

“While Tullow is well-positioned with a balanced set of production, development and exploration assets, we will need to ensure that the company not only delivers on the potential of its current assets but also seeks out new opportunities for growth.

“I look forward to welcoming Dorothy to the company and working closely with her in the coming years.”

As well as her experience with Drax, Thompson is also currently a non-executive director of the Court of the Bank of England since 2014, and the NYSE-listed Eaton Corporation since 2016.

She was a non-executive director of Johnson Matthey from 2007 until 2016.

“I am very pleased to be joining Tullow as the company emerges from the recent downturn in a strong position following the significant progress it has made over the past two years,” Dorothy Thompson commented.

“I am looking forward to working with Paul and the board as we focus on delivering the full potential of the company's world class portfolio and the return to value enhancing growth.”