Board Member Nomination: Knut Eriksen '81
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Posted by: Lenora Greene
Knut Eriksen ‘81
Oil Executive (Retired)
Knut Eriksen retired recently as Senior Vice President of Business Development and Executive Officer from Oceaneering International, a $2.3 billion oil and gas services company with the world’s largest fleet of ROVs (Remote Operating Vehicles or deepwater unmanned submarines). In addition to its main business of providing support for deepwater oil drilling and production operations, Oceaneering broadcasted the first pictures of the Titanic taken by ROV.
Knut’s career has been anything but under water. A Norway native, Knut combined two Master’s in Engineering degrees and a Thunderbird MBA to parlay himself into a highly successful, 41-year career in the global offshore and deepwater oil and gas industry, providing business opportunities and projects in places like Alaska, the east coast of Canada, the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, the North Sea, the west coast of Africa, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia.
A classic T-bird, Knut is a seasoned global executive with a background in business development, engineering, project management, and corporate management in the offshore and deepwater oil and gas business. With a unique combination of knowledge and experience in the service, contractor and E&P sectors, Knut has expertise in strategic restructuring processes, both stand-alone and following acquisitions. He also has conceived and implemented technical strategic innovation programs. He takes a hands-on leadership approach to building processes around governance, compliance, and core values. This approach has served Knut and his employers well. In his most recent position as Senior Vice President of Business Development, Knut built Oceaneering’s global sales and marketing organization and developed strong relationships with executives of the IOCs (International Oil Companies). As Senior Vice President for the Subsea Products Business Unit at Oceaneering from 2010 - 2014, Knut led a 2,500-employee business during a strong growth period, increasing revenues from less than $500 million to more than $1 billion. In addition, Knut has held senior and C-level positions with companies including NATCO Group, various Aker Group companies and Unocal Corporation. Currently, he advises the oil and gas industry as President of Eriksen Associates.
Knut has served in various roles on the Board of Directors for the Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce, Southwest Chapter, Houston, TX, on the Board of NATCO Group Japan (JV of NATCO, MODEC and Daiichi) of Tokyo, and numerous US and international subsidiary Boards of Oceaneering, NATCO Group and Aker.
Knut began his career with the largest construction company in Norway. He attended the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, where he earned the first of his three Master’s degrees. In addition to Thunderbird and his education in Norway, Knut received his M.Sc. from Washington State University. He is a Registered Professional Engineer (PE) in Texas; a European Engineer (EURING); and Registered Professional Engineer (PE) in California.
Growing up in a small agricultural and forest community north of Oslo, Norway, Knut became involved in sports, particularly competitive skiing and orienteering, early in his life. He is married to German native, Annette, and they have happily found their home in Houston, Texas for the last 25 years. Knut and Annette, who shares her husband’s love of Thunderbird and T-bird alumni, split their time between homes in Houston and Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they enjoy hiking and skiing.