In May, Karl Fredrik Staubo slimmed his many company positions down to one — chief executive of Golar LNG.
Just months earlier, Staubo was working as chief financial officer as well as chief executive for master limited partnership (MLP) Golar LNG Partners, while selling off the group’s downstream joint venture Hygo Energy Transition to New Fortress Energy.
“I have never worked so hard in my life,” he said.
Staubo, who describes himself as “positive” and “energetic”, with an enjoyment of the fast-paced business environment, said Golar is a company where “if you dip your hand in, it takes your whole arm”, which is perhaps why he has ended up with the top job.
After studying business studies and economics in Edinburgh and Singapore, he joined Platou Markets in 2010 to work in its shipping and offshore team. An interest in working internationally focused him on the sector.
I'm Norwegian I like being outdoors
Karl Fredrik Staubo
He moved from an analyst to become head of shipping on the investment banking side working alongside Erik Helberg, now chief executive of Clarksons Platou Securities, and Magnus Halvorsen, now 2020 Bulkers head.
Business partners John Fredriksen and Tor Olav Troim were clients, and more latterly Troim when the two big bears of shipping split up. At the end of one pitch, Troim asked Staubo why he was not working for him.
Temporarily tied up selling Songa Bulk to Star Bulk Carriers, Staubo finally joined Troim’s Magni Partners in October 2018, taking on most of the shipping business, including Golar.
He clearly enjoyed the scale and buzz of the Golar’s $5bn-plus sell-off of Hygo and its MLP to New Fortress this year.
He is also inspired by Troim, whom he usually speaks to several times a day.
Since Staubo took the helm, Golar has reorganised its London office, started a cost structure improvement programme and hired new names to bolster its floating LNG business. He said there is more group simplification to come and an assault on the upstream opportunities it sees.
When not working, Staubo keeps active — “I’m Norwegian. I like being outdoors” — and used to be an Alpine skier. His second son arrived weeks ago and he has just taken his first summer holiday in two years.
At 34, he was singled out on a recent podcast as the youngest chief executive among Nasdaq-listed companies.
“I have no idea. I don’t pay attention to stuff like that,” he said. “I’m very humbled to be given the responsibility. I feel pressure to deliver more than anything, and that’s where my focus is.”