‘Baird was in love with technology,’ Gould

Schlumberger president tells investors of ‘favorable climate’ and relates Baird anecdote.

Speaking to the investment community, Schlumberger president Andrew Gould painted a rosy picture of ‘perhaps the most favorable business climate we have seen in the upstream industry since the early 1970’s.’ Schlumberger’s earnings have grown faster than revenue with a return on capital employed of 13.3% in the last quarter. The divestiture program of the non-Oilfield businesses is substantially complete and total and has reduced net debt to below $2 billion— ‘a level consistent with the Schlumberger’s long-term capital structure.’


In the Q&A, Gould gave an amusing insight into his predecessor Euan Baird’s sortie into the IT consulting market with the ill-fated acquisition of Sema Group. Gould discussed these events with a group of Schlumberger top scientists and ventured that Baird might have ‘fallen in love with a technology,’ suggesting that ‘as scientists, your job was to stop it before it went too far.’ But as one of Schlumberger’s brains quipped, ‘If you’re in love, it’s way too late.’

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