Syncrude announces new top executive

Syncrude is undergoing an executive change at the end of this year with the retirement of Syncrude President and CEO Mark Ward; and Doreen Cole replacing him as the incoming Managing Director, effective December 11, 2017.

Ward is returning to his home state of Texas to spend more time with family and travel after a career of nearly 40 years working in the oil and gas industry across the world, including the United States, Venezuela, Indonesia, Qatar, Nigeria and Canada.

“The oil sands is an exciting and challenging business. But the quality of people here is what stands out and that’s what I’ll miss most,” said Ward.

There are many examples of employees pulling together to meet a common goal, but I’m most proud of how Syncrude responded during the 2016 wildfire. As an organization, Syncrude employees showed their commitment to doing what’s right by supporting each other and our communities while also protecting our business through a successful safe park and subsequent restart.

mark Ward

Cole brings 24 years of experience and a track record of performance improvement in the Alberta oil sands, refining, power and utility industries. She was most recently Suncor’s Senior Vice President, Regional Maintenance and Reliability, based in Fort McMurray. Cole has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto and has held a variety of leadership roles with Shell Canada, including managing the Scotford Refinery in Fort Saskatchewan and leading the downstream business strategy and growth organization in Calgary. Before joining Suncor in 2014, she led EPCOR’s Electricity division in Edmonton. 

Cole joins Syncrude immediately to ensure a successful transition with the outgoing CEO. She has a strong foundation of knowledge of the operation and its people through her working relationship as an executive at Suncor, the largest Joint Venture (JV) Participant in the Syncrude Project.

“Syncrude has a long and proud history, with employees who are committed to responsible oil sands development,” said Cole. “It’s an honour to have the opportunity to lead this organization.”

As a resident of Fort McMurray with her husband and one of her two daughters, Cole is deeply involved in the community. She served as a member of the Keyano College Board of Governors from 2014 to 2017 and was recently appointed to the Wood Buffalo Community Foundation Board. 
The Syncrude Project is a joint venture undertaking among Imperial Oil Resources Limited; Mocal Energy Limited; Nexen Oil Sands Partnership; Sinopec Oil Sands Partnership; and Suncor Energy Inc. (with the Suncor interest held by Canadian Oil Sands Partnership #1 and Suncor Energy Ventures Partnership, both wholly owned affiliates of Suncor Energy Inc.).

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