By Dave Donaldson
Alyeska Pipeline Company is looking for a new Chief Executive Officer following yesterday’s announcement that Kevin Hostler will retire from the job at the end of September. He has worked at the company that operates the TransAlaska Pipeline since 2005.
In a prepared statement sent out by the company Hostler is quoted as saying his retirement after a thirty three year career with B-P leaves plenty of time for a proper transition to a new leader. B-P is the largest owner of the pipeline company.
The statement also says that Alyeska will appoint an acting CEO if a permanent replacement is not found by the time Hostler leaves.
Hostler has been the focus of criticism in recent months, particularly over a decision in February to transfer employees from assignments in Fairbanks and Valdez to company headquarters in Anchorage — despite concerns that safety issues could not be adequately addressed from a central point. That complaint was repeated when a two hundred thousand gallon oil spill near Fairbanks in May closed the pipeline for three days.
Democratic Representative David Guttenberg of Fairbanks says Hostler has been a part of Alyeska’s lack of response to employee concerns.
That pipeline’s got a lot of life left in it and you’ve got to listen to your employees –the people that know your product. And clearly that’s been a problem, and hopefully somebody that comes in to take Mr. Hostler’s place will have an open mind and be available to listen to criticism – constructive criticism – and have a pipeline that has a lot of life left.
Corporate Communications Director Michelle Egan says Alyeska has just gone through an Open Work Environment study by an independent investigator on behalf of the owners of the pipeline. She says that investigation found no substantiated safety or integrity concerns.
There was this investigation and it did look into issues such as budgeting concerns, the transfers, it was determined that there was not an impact on safety or environmental issues. And it was very clear in the report. But it has created quite a bit of distraction. And Mr. Hostler doesn’t want that.
Egan says Hostler’s replacement will be chosen by the owners of the pipeline from employees of the owner companies or from an outside search sometime in the next three months.