NORMAN MURRAY, one of Scotland’s best-known business figures, has stepped down as chairman of energy services giant Petrofac for what the group said were compassionate reasons.
The former chairman of Edinburgh-based oil and gas explorer Cairn Energy had been in the role since May 2011 and has been succeeded by Rijnhard van Tets, previously Petrofac’s senior independent director.
It is understood that Murray, a past president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (Icas), resigned from the FTSE 100 group with immediate effect yesterday because a family member is seriously ill.
He said: “It is with tremendous sadness that I step down from the board. I would like to thank my board colleagues for their support during my tenure and their understanding of my current situation.
“I leave Petrofac in good shape and the board in Rijnhard’s experienced and capable hands.”
Chief executive Ayman Asfari said: “I would like to thank Norman for leading the board so effectively for the last three years.
“Whilst it is with great sadness that we accept his resignation, we understand his reasons and our thoughts and best wishes remain with him and his family.”
A graduate of Heriot Watt University and Harvard Business School, Murray qualified as a chartered accountant in 1976. His career has included spells with Charterhouse, Deutsche Bank, KPMG, Morgan Grenfell and Royal Bank of Scotland.
In 2012, he joined the board of Glasgow-based Edrington as a non-executive director, and succeeded Sir Ian Good as the distiller’s chairman a year ago.
A spokeswoman said Murray would be remaining as chairman of the group, which has a stable of whiskies including Cutty Sark, Famous Grouse, Highland Park and Macallan.
Murray, a long-term supporter of the arts in Scotland, has also served on the boards of Robert Wiseman Dairies and brewer Greene King. In December, he took over from Zoe van Zwanenberg as chairman of Scottish Ballet and a spokeswoman said his resignation from Petrofac would not affect his role.