Former Jed paperboy to take top role with Scottish Enterprise

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Former Jedburgh Grammar schoolboy Bob Keiller is to take over as the new chairman of Scottish Enterprise in January.

Mr Keiller is currently the Wood Group Chief Executive Officer, having held the position since November, 2012, but will step down from this position on December 31.

He was formerly Chief Executive of Wood Group PSN from April 2011 and CEO of Production Services Network (PSN) prior to its acquisition by Wood Group.

He was previously chairman of the Offshore Contractors Association, the Helicopter Issues Task Group, the Entrepreneurial Exchange and co-Chair of Oil and Gas UK.

Announcing Mr Keiller’s appointment to succeed Crawford Gillies at Scottish Enterprise, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy, John Swinney, said Scottish Enterprise will benefit from Mr Keiller’s extensive experience.

“I wish him well and look forward to working with him,” added Mr Swinney.

Born in Edinburgh in 1964 and raised in Jedburgh, Mr Keiller graduated from Heriot-Watt University in 1986 as a master of engineering and has worked in the oil and gas industry for three decades.

It was as a 12-year-old schoolboy in Jedburgh that the first signs of his entrepreneurial drive became obvious, when he sold his first paper round delivery business to a relative for around £150 and learned the lessons which would lead to the global company he established being sold to Wood Group for almost $1billion.

As chief executive of the John Wood Group, he is in charge of 43,000 employees in more than 50 countries and a business with sales of $7billion. Wood Group is an international energy services company built on core values and has three businesses – Wood Group PSN, Wood Group Kenny and Wood Group Mustang - providing a range of engineering, production support and maintenance management services to the oil & gas, and power generation industries worldwide.

On his appointment to lead Scottish Enterprise, Mr Keiller, who lists his pastimes as running and painting, said: “I am looking forward to working with the team at Scottish Enterprise to build on the good work they have been doing and help them to improve even more.

“Scotland needs a vibrant and inclusive economy and Scottish Enterprise has a catalytic part to play in achieving this.”

Father-of-three Mr Keiller will be replaced in his current role as chief executive of Wood Group by the company’s chief operating officer Robin Watson.

The Scottish Enterprise appointment will be for three years, commencing on January 1, and ending on December 31, 2018.

The appointment is part-time and attracts a remuneration of £514 per day for a time commitment of 1½ days per week. This appointment is regulated by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.

SE has its headquarters in Glasgow and is responsible in 2015-16 for a budget of £321.3 million.

Wood Group chairman, Ian Marchant, recently paid tribute to Mr Keiller: “The Group has made significant progress under Bob’s leadership and the board respects his decision to stand down at this time.

“Robin was identified as the stand out candidate to succeed Bob as part of our succession planning process, and we believe that his knowledge and experience will ensure an orderly transition.”

Mr Keiller said he had enjoyed the pleasure of working with “some wonderful, committed, skilled and innovative people” at Wood Group.

And he added: “I will miss Wood Group, but will have the satisfaction of knowing that it is in good hands and on a personal note I have several business interests that I am looking to develop.”