A profit of CFOs – new CFOs at Bristow, CHC and Era


New CFO arriving at Era

One nice quirk about the English language is the different names given to groups. A collection of things can be taken as a whole.

Many of these are unique to a species. A number of dolphins is known as a school. A group of lions a pride. It is also correct to refer to a shrewdness of apes, a set of badgers, a fesnyng of ferrets, an exaltation of larks and a coalition of cheetahs.

This summer we have a seen a profit* of new CFOs arrive at helicopter operators.

Bristow has promoted Don Miller to senior vice president and CFO. Andrew Puhala has been appointed as senior vice president and CFO of Era Group.

Miller replaces John Briscoe who is leaving the operator. Miller was head of mergers, acquisitions and integration and led the purchases of Cougar Helicopters, Eastern Airways and Airnorth.

Miller has been reporting to Jonathan Baliff, CEO of Bristow for a number of years. Both when Baliff was CFO and as SVP for mergers and acquisitions.

“His proven leadership skills, and knowledge of both the aviation business and capital deployment have been critical to the success of Bristow’s recent initiatives, including our Gulf of Mexico restructuring, Canadian expansion, and fixed wing investments in the UK and Australia,” said Baliff. “As we navigate through a rapidly changing aviation market and a more challenging energy environment, Don’s skill set and experience make him a natural fit for this important role at this important time.”

Miller joined Bristow in 2010 after nine years at Enron, where he rose to President and CEO of Enron North America. He was also an energy banker at Citicorp.

Puhala will start on September 14. He joins from American Electric Technologies where he was also CFO since January 2013. Before American Electric he was of AccessESP (formerly Artificial Lift Company).

Christopher Bradshaw, Era’s President, CEO (and Chief Financial Officer for a few more weeks) said:  “Andy brings well-rounded experience in numerous senior financial roles, including CFO, within the energy industry. His executive leadership experience, personal integrity, technical abilities and energetic drive make him a good fit for this important role at Era. Andy complements our senior management team as we work together to continue providing safe, efficient and reliable customer service.”

With Lee Eckert, becoming CFO of CHC on July 16, it does mean that the CFOs of the three largest oil and gas operators are all new. But this because two strong CFOs stepped up to the CEO role. Miller’s promotion should also not be seen as an end to future acquisitions. Bristow still has cash and will not want to waste a crisis.

(* I made this one up)






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