UC Berkeley News
Press Release

UC Berkeley Press Release

Haas School to provide training to largest oil company in Norway

– The University of California, Berkeley, will provide multi-year, comprehensive leadership development and project management training to top executives and project managers of the Norwegian oil company Statoil, Tom Campbell, dean of UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business announced today (Thursday, March 23).

The training curriculum and coordination of this Project Executive Program will be provided by the Haas School's Center for Executive Development (CED), utilizing faculty from both the business school and the UC Berkeley College of Engineering. The academy will focus on topics such as how to balance innovation and risk, project leadership, excellence, and working in complex geopolitical environments.

The programs will be held on the UC Berkeley campus, at Statoil's head office in Norway, and at a field site outside Norway.

Statoil is an oil and gas company with headquarters in Norway and more than 300 billion NOK (Norwegian kroner) in annual revenues. The government of Norway owns 71 percent of the company. Academy participants will be Statoil project managers who oversee $1 billion to $10 billion capital projects.

A key component of the academy will be UC Berkeley's interdisciplinary approach, which will allow Statoil to synthesize expertise from across the campus. The program will be taught by professors in business, engineering, political science and international studies, as well as by senior Statoil executives.

"We are delighted at this opportunity to partner with Statoil," said Dean Tom Campbell. "Statoil is a most distinguished company, and we are grateful for it having selected UC Berkeley's business and engineering faculty for the Project Executive Program, reflecting Berkeley's leadership position in interdisciplinary research and innovation."

"Statoil seeks to create a big shift in the mindset of its executives to enable them to be stronger leaders," said Assistant Dean of Executive Learning Whitney Hischier at the Haas School's Center for Executive Development. "The objective of our curriculum is to enable these participants to manage risk and execute strategy on a daily basis, even within an uncertain environment."

The program will span three years, with an option for Statoil to extend it. Instruction will start in September 2006 for the first cohort of 20 Statoil executives. These participants will meet quarterly for four-week classes over the course of one year.

"The Project Academy will help strengthen Statoil's position as one of the world's top performers in project development," says Margareth Ovrum, executive vice president for Statoil's Technology & Projects. "Fifty universities were considered, and Berkeley was chosen after an overall assessment."

According to CED's Whitney Hischier, this kind of executive education program is part of a new trend of highly customized, co-branded partnership programs that build upon both the experience within the client company and the credibility and multi-disciplinary expertise of major universities.