The rest of the 100 (in alphabetical order): Kemal Anbarci & Barbara Burger, Chevron
No sector has been roiled as much by economic and political turbulence over the past few years than the oil and gas industry.
But while a number of large corporate venturing units, such as that of ConocoPhillips, have seen significant changes in personnel, Kemal Anbarci, managing executive of Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV), the corporate venturing and innovation unit of the US-based oil major, and his boss, Barbara Burger, president of CTV, have built a strong reputation for consistency.
Both became leaders of CTV’s corporate venturing arm in 2013, a year before oil prices fell by about two-thirds over 18 months before recovering to about $50 a barrel this year just as Saudi Arabia is seeking to privatise its $2 trillion state oil company, Aramco.
Anbarci, who last year celebrated his 25th year with Chevron, replaced Trond Unneland, who led the unit for nearly six years, while Burger replaced Des King in 2013 as president of CTV a few months before.
For 2014’s Powerlist, Anbarci said Chevron Technology Ventures had developed a strong position in corporate venturing because it had “stayed the course” since its foundation in 1999. He said: “What makes Chevron Technology Ventures function extremely well is the continuity of the venture executives. We got in people already in Chevron for 15-plus years, so they have credibility within the company, creating a stable venture investment culture.”
For this year’s Powerlist, Anbarci said his achievements over the past year had included “keeping more than 30 startups alive through downturn with tools available to us, including follow-on investments, field trials and sales contracts, making two new investments, and hiring three new venture executives and one new venture analyst”.
Anbarci has a master’s degree in operations research and a PhD in petroleum and natural gas engineering from Pennsylvania State University, and an MBA from University of California Irvine. He also has a degree in petroleum engineering from Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.
Burger started as a research chemist in Chevron’s Richmond Laboratory. She went on to a number of management positions, including in lubricants, where she was vice-president for the global supply chain and base oils.
She is on the board of the Houston Technology Centre, a technology and business incubator, and also on the US Department of Energy National Renewable Laboratory External Advisory Council and the governing board of the MIT Energy Initiative.
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