Our Leadership

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Ryan Kubik

Chairman of the Board - Syncrude Canada Ltd.

Ryan Kubik was promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Oil Sands Limited effective January 2014. He also serves as a Director and Chair of the Board of Syncrude Canada Ltd. In this role, he, along with the Board of Directors, is responsible for governing the statutory affairs of the company. Ryan also Chairs the Syncrude Joint Venture CEO and Management Committees.

He joined COS in 2002, and prior to his promotion to President and CEO, served as Chief Financial Officer since 2007. His business experience includes capital markets, finance, risk management, business development, strategic planning and investor relations.

Ryan earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary in 1990, and received a Chartered Accountant designation in 1993. His 20 plus years in the energy industry include progressively senior positions with PricewaterhouseCoopers, PanCanadian Energy, and EnCana Corporation. Ryan also holds a Chartered Financial Analyst designation and has completed the Institute of Corporate Directors, Corporate Governance program.

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Mark Ward

Chief Executive Officer

Mark Ward was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Syncrude Canada Ltd. in May 2014. In this role, he oversees the effective management and stewardship of Syncrude, which has over 5,000 employees and is one of Canada’s largest producers of crude oil from the oil sands of Alberta, with productive capacity of 350,000 barrels per day.

Mark came to Syncrude from his previous role at ExxonMobil as Managing Director in Nigeria and brings 34 years of experience to this role.

Throughout his extensive career, Mark has held various engineering, planning and executive positions around the world including Indonesia, Venezuela and most recently Nigeria. He holds a Chemical Engineering degree from Texas A & M University and has three grown children.

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Pablo Borgnino

Chief Operating Officer

As COO, Pablo is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Syncrude operation. Reporting directly to him are the Vice Presidents of Production (Mining and Extraction/Upgrading), Maintenance and Technical (Engineering Services and Operations Support) and the General Manager, Safety Health Environment.

In 1988, Pablo joined Esso in Argentina as a Process Engineer and assumed increasingly senior roles during his career. That includes serving as the Refinery Manager for the Campana Refinery in Argentina and most recentlyTorrance, California. His education includes a Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Argentina’s Universidad del Litoral and a Master’s degree from Spain’s Industrial Management EOI.

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Mike Daley

Vice President, Safety, Security, Health & Environment

Mike Daley was appointed to the position of Vice President, Safety, Security Health & Environment effective March 2015. 

Mike first joined Syncrude in 1977 as a process technician and participated in the startup of the Upgrader in 1978. He has held progressively more senior roles throughout his career at Syncrude including Hydroprocessing Operations Manager, Upgrading Maintenance Manager, Facilities Services Manager, UE-1 Operations Manager and most recently, Manager, Turnarounds and Majors.

Mike is also a long-time resident of Fort McMurray and is very active in the community. He’s chair of the Community Christmas Day dinner committee, serves on the Board of Directors for the Oil Sands Safety Association, the Fort McMurray Historical Society and the Marine Park Committee.

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Kara Flynn

Vice President, Government & Public Affairs

Kara Flynn serves as the Vice President, Government and Public Affairs, and reports directly to the President and CEO.  In her role she oversees a diverse team of employees responsible for Aboriginal and stakeholder relations, government relations, internal and external communications and community investment.  She was promoted to the role of VP in January 2012, having previously served as Manager, Public Affairs for over three years.

Prior to joining Syncrude, Ms. Flynn had a 20-year career in management, communications and community relations initiatives that spanned health, cultural facilities and the non-profit sector.

She is Chair of the Keyano College Board of Governors and a member of the Board of Directors of the Telus World of Science. As well, she serves as a member of the Board of Directors and Secretary for the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business. She is also active in a range of committees for the Oil Sands Community Alliance, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and the Mining Association of Canada.

Ms. Flynn has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia in History and Political Science.

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Greg Fuhr

Vice President, Production - Mining

Greg Fuhr was appointed Vice President of Production, Mining, in August 2012 and oversees Syncrude’s mining operation at both Mildred Lake and Aurora leases. Greg is also responsible for Syncrude’s lease development, closure and tailings operations.

Prior to joining Syncrude, Greg had a 27-year career working with Sherritt International.

Working for Sherritt International as Senior Vice President, Greg led the exploration and feasibility study for the subsequent development of the Sulawesi lateritic nickel deposit in Indonesia and oversaw the development of the organization for the commissioning and operations of the $5.5 billion Ambatovy Nickel project in Madagascar.

He holds a Bachelor of Science, Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Alberta.

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Ray Hansen

Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Ray Hansen, Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, was appointed in March 2013 and leads the Corporate Secretary, Law Department and Land Administration functions for Syncrude Canada Ltd.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts, Economics in 1979 and Bachelor of Laws in 1981, both from the University of Alberta.

Ray first joined Syncrude as Corporate Counsel in 1985, was promoted to Manager, Law Department in 1989 and then named General Counsel in 1996. He assumed the additional responsibilities of Corporate Secretary in 2008.


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Vice President Business Services and Chief Financial Officer

Manuel Ortiz was appointed Syncrude’s Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Business Services, in June 2014. Manuel oversees the organization’s Procurement, Facilities Management, Security, Information Technology, Aviation, Internal Audit and Controllers departments.

Prior to joining Syncrude, Manuel spent three years in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as the Lead Controller and Financial Accounting & Reporting Manager. During his 28 years of experience with ExxonMobil, Manuel has held various positions in finance, audit, controllers, procurement, projects and mining. His career has also brought him to work and live in countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Italy, Cameroun, Belgium, Brazil, Chile and the United States.

Originally from Colombia, Manuel has a Master’s in Business Administration from State University of New York, and an Industrial Engineering degree from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia. He is married with three children. 

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Jerry McPherson

Vice President, Project Development and Execution

Jerry McPherson serves as Vice President, Project Development and Execution. In this role, he is responsible for developing and executing Syncrude portfolio of capital projects.

Jerry began his Syncrude career in 2002 and held the previous roles of Projective Executive of the Fluid Fine Tailings – Centrifuging Full Scale Project and General Manager, Projects Portfolio where he prepared  the business case for a variety of capital projects and oversaw their development.

He earned a Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) with Distinction from the Technical University of Nova Scotia (now Dalhousie University) in 1984 and a Certificate of Applied Science from Acadia University in 1982.

Jerry is an active community member and has spent a number of years coaching and volunteering in various capacities within Fort McMurray.

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Peter Read

Vice President, Strategic Planning

Peter Read serves as Vice President, Strategic Planning.  In this role, he oversees key strategies for Syncrude’s future growth and environmental sustainability, including lease development, land reclamation, closure planning and tailings management.

Joining Syncrude as a mining engineer in 1987, Mr. Read has held leadership positions throughout his career in the organization’s Mining, Extraction, Tailings and Corporate Strategy areas.

He graduated with distinction from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering and received his Masters of Business Administration in 1987. He is a recipient of the University of Alberta’s Alumni Honour Award and the CIM Past Presidents’ Memorial Medal.

Mr. Read has served on the University of Alberta Mining Engineering Industry Advisory Committee since 1990. As well, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Mining Association of Canada, the Alberta Chamber of Resources and the Northern Lights Health Foundation.

Mr. Read and his wife are long-term Fort McMurray residents and are involved in many volunteer activities in the community.

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Jim Richards

Vice President, Maintenance

Born and raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Jim Richards graduated from the University of Saskatchewan’s Mechanical Engineering program in 1980.  Upon graduation, he joined Imperial Oil as a mechanical design engineer at Imperial’s Strathcona Refinery. 

After working in several operations, supply and maintenance positions at Strathcona, he transferred to the IOCO refinery as a machinery specialist. In the early 90’s, Jim was the turnaround leader for the refinery before moving into the technical services supervisor role.

A few years later, Jim returned to the Strathcona refinery and held positions such as reliability manager, turnaround manager and maintenance manager. In 2012, he transferred to Calgary and assumed the role of R&S advisor until his appointment to Syncrude in November 2013.

As Vice President of Maintenance, Jim oversees the maintenance activities and organization for the Mildred Lake and Aurora Mines as well as the Upgrader.

Jim is married and the proud father of a son and a daughter.

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Chris Yetman

Vice President, Human Resources

Christopher W. Yetman was appointed Vice President of Human Resources in April 2014.

Although he spent the majority of his 40-year oil and petrochemical career in the United States, Chris’ roles have taken him all over the globe to Europe, Asia and South America. Throughout his tenure, he’s held a range of progressively more senior human resources roles. Chris started his career in refinery operations with the Standard Oil Company in Ohio and prior to joining Syncrude, served as Human Resources Manager, Engineering and Projects, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering.

Originally from Lima, Ohio, Chris holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Bluffton College, a Master of Business Administration from Ashland University and a Master of Organizational Development from Bowling Green State University. His wife Peggy and two of his youngest children reside in Fort McMurray where they enjoy local sports and outdoor activities.

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Chris Wolfe

Vice President, Technical Operations Support

Chris Wolfe was appointed Vice President of Technical, Operations Support in February 2015.

His colourful career has included living in various locations around Canada and the United States. Chris brings 30 years of experience in engineering and operations management roles at three of Imperial Oil’s refineries – IOCO, Nanticoke and Strathcona. He also served as the Process Technology Advisor at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering in Fairfax, Virginia and most recently was the Engineering Manager for Imperial Oil’s downstream located in Calgary.

Originally from Grimsby, Ontario, Chris holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from McMaster University.  Throughout his career, Chris has been involved with coaching soccer, hockey and football. He’s also the proud father of two grown children.


Steve Yatauro

Vice President, Production - Extraction & Upgrading

Steve Yatauro was appointed Vice President of Production in August 2014 and oversees Syncrude’s Extraction and Upgrading facilities at both Mildred Lake and Aurora leases.

Prior to joining Syncrude, Steve has held a number of engineering and managerial positions with ExxonMobil. Most recently, Steve served as the Torrance Refinery Process Manager in California.

With more than 25 years in the industry, he brings a wealth of process, technical, and mechanical knowledge to Syncrude. He holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Florida.

Throughout his career, Steve has been involved in community organizations both in volunteer and board member capacities. His wife Trish and youngest daughter reside in Fort McMurray and his twin daughters attend university, one in Florida and one in Tennessee.