A proponent of transformational leadership, Dr. Ainojie ‘Alex’ Irune has over 15 years’ experience garnered in both the oil and gas and automotive industries. He joined Oando PLC in 2011 and is currently an Executive Director on the Board as well as the Chief Operating Officer, Oando Energy Resources(OER); Africa’s leading exploration and production company and the Upstream subsidiary of Oando PLC.
He leads OER with a focus on technical and commercial innovation with the goal of maintaining the long-term sustainable success of the business. As COO, he has operational oversight of 16 onshore and offshore assets across Nigeria and Sao Tome & Principe. Since taking on the role in 2018, he has successfully redefined OER’s business model, instituting and leading Joint Venture Improvement Initiatives deploying solutions to mitigate production inefficiencies, significantly reduce costs while increasing production. Actions that culminated in a 17% increase in incremental production and over $43 million in cost savings for the JVs. In addition, he secured over $1.5 billion in international financing for incremental production and in excess of $500m in working capital financing. He has been instrumental in workforce-based initiatives to promote a more diverse and inclusive environment as well as positively shifting internal culture.
Prior to his current role Dr. Irune occupied senior management positions across the Oando Group where he led a range of transformational change programs; notable amongst these, spearheading strategic initiatives aimed at restructuring the business and reducing the Group’s debt obligations, including partial business divestments to Vitol and Helios Investment Partners that generated inflows of over US$330 million as well as implementation of the global communications strategy for Oando’s$1.5bn acquisition of ConocoPhillips Nigeria upstream assets.
Dr. Irune began his career as a research consultant in the United Kingdom, driving innovation and studies focused on human computer interaction with automobile companies such as Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and Honda. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a PHD in computer science from the University of Nottingham.
He is also a member of the Institute of Directors and an advocate for a more just and equitable society with strong focus on youth development and empowerment.