Salah Gamoudi

Executive Vice President & CFO, SandRidge Energy Inc., Austin, Texas

The son of a Libyan immigrant father, Salah Gamoudi saw firsthand how far hard work, dedication and patience could take someone in the oil and gas industry and, more importantly, how imperative it was to surround himself with mentors and peers who also felt the same way. Building a team of individuals that complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses has been essential to Gamoudi’s success. 

Why did you enter the oil and gas industry?

“Having grown up with a father from Libya, where the oil and gas industry provides nearly all of the GDP of that country and people tend to gravitate toward the sector, I became acquainted and fascinated with the energy industry from an early age. I grew up hearing story after story about the oil and natural gas fields of North Africa. Given that background, I had grown quite curious about entering the energy space.”

Which of your professional achievements are you most proud of?

“Being one of several leaders in the ‘turnaround story’ of SandRidge Energy is one of the highlights of my career thus far. I joined SandRidge in April of 2020, during the worst fall out of commodity prices ever for our industry. We worked to set a path forward to help not only survive but to come out stronger and make significant changes. Our efforts repositioned SandRidge into being a Midcontinent-based, profitability-focused oil and gas operator with the flexibility and adaptability to take advantage of strategic and value enhancing opportunities.”

How do you exercise leadership to help shape your department?

“One of the most important aspects of leading a team is the ability to clearly identify organizational needs, find talented individuals to meet those needs and put your team members in the best position to succeed. At Remora Petroleum, we needed to transform what was a privately held company into being a much larger, publicly traded energy company. My job as a leader was to help effectuate this effort. Once we identified the critical needs of the organization, our job was to put our people in the best position to succeed with the upcoming transformation. This culminated with a road show and the successful filing of an S-1 prospectus with the SEC [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission].”

Who is your mentor, and what valuable advice have they given you?

“My father, Ibrahim Gamoudi, was an outstanding mentor. Having lived the quintessential ‘immigrant story’ of America, he came here with a scholarship check and a lot of aspirations but had to start from the ground up—learning the English language, understanding the culture and then applying the technical skills to climb the ranks in his given field. I took away from him the meaning of hard work and not taking for granted the opportunities in front of you.”

What keeps you motivated and passionate about working in the oil and gas industry?

“As an industry, we provide and will continue to provide the ‘lifeblood’ of modern civilization. I’m very passionate about the idea that, despite the challenges we face in the energy space, we must remain steadfast on our mission to provide safe, reliable and abundant energy sources for the world.”

What transformations do you think the industry must undertake for it to thrive in the future?

“We tend to be an insular, conservative and polite community. We are often caught on the ‘back foot’ when it comes to discussing energy security, energy poverty and climate change. 

I believe our approach to these issues needs to be one where we go ‘on offense,’ actively proposing solutions and addressing trade-offs and the practicality of proposed changes, legislation and agreements. The stakes regarding our energy security as a nation, as well as addressing energy poverty for the globe, are too important to ‘sit idly by.’”

Three More Things

1. I played college football under Jerry Glanville and June Jones as well as high school football under a legendary coach in the state of Oregon, Frank Geske.

2. My son and I are avid Call of Duty players.

3. I’ve recently undergone a hip surgery that replaced my hip joint with a metal-on-metal joint on my right side, and now I cannot pass through an airport metal detector without it going off.