BG GROUP has appointed Helge Lund as chief executive and as an executive director with effect from 2 March 2015 after ten years in the top job with Statoil.

Mr Lund, whose resignation from Statoil will take place with immediate effect, has had a pivotal role in leading the transformation of Statoil into one of the world’s leading international oil and gas companies.

Prior to his decade-long stint as chief executive of Statoil, Mr Lund served as chief executive of Aker Kvaerner, an industrial conglomerate with operations in oil and gas and shipbuilding.

He previously also served in the roles of deputy chief executive and chief financial officer at the pharmaceutical division of Hafslund Nycomed, an industrial conglomerate.

Mr Lund said the time was right for a new challenge.

“Renewal is important, both for Statoil and for me,” he said.

“I came to the conclusion that the time was right for a change.

“I have both the motivation and energy to take on a new leadership challenge, and found this opportunity to be the right one.”

BG Group chairman Andrew Gould said Mr Lund’s track record spoke for itself.

“He has built a world-class exploration and production portfolio at Statoil, and the company is now widely admired for its technical expertise, financial performance and strong, values-based culture,” he said.

“Helge is ideally suited to lead BG Group in the next phase of its growth, and to accelerate the creation and delivery of value for our shareholders, while delivering the group’s business plans.

”The incoming BG Group chief executive said the company had a strong set of assets and opportunities.

“I look forward to joining this organisation and working with BG’s people to develop the company’s full potential,” Mr Lund said.

Ahead of the appointment, the BG Group board undertook an extensive global search, led by Mr Gould.

BG Group said the board had approved a remuneration package that was competitive in the international oil and gas industry. The package includes a conditional allocation of shares, along with a base salary, bonus, pension and long-term incentive awards.

Statoil’s board of directors has appointed Eldar Sætre as acting president and chief executive.