Peter Herbel, Senior Vice President, General Counsel of Total

By Samer Farhat, Global MBA student, Lebanon

After Antoine de Saint-Afrique (Unilever) and Pierre Nanterme (Accenture), the talk by Peter Herbel (Total) is the third given by a top-tier manager to the Global MBA cohort this year. During a two-hour exchange, we had the chance to discover the legal complexities that a multinational company is exposed to under various jurisdictions and labor laws.

The growing public awareness about environmental issues and the need for renewable energy sources have driven the public to question the role of major oil and gas companies in the current situation of the energy markets. Are they stimulating the increase in oil price? Are they investing enough in the development of renewable energies? Is the activity of major oil and gas companies benefiting the local populations where they operate? The Global MBA cohort had the chance to ask numerous questions and to understand the role of major oil companies, of national oil companies, and to discuss the pros and cons of an institution such as OPEC.

The importance of energy supply in the economic development of all countries makes oil and gas more coveted by the day. The pressure and the benefits that governments, investors, and corporations try to extract out of such leverage pushes western oil companies to implement rigorous codes of conduct and bylaws. Without such tools and without legal awareness, major western oil companies could face sizeable lawsuits in their countries of origin that would impact their performance, reputation and brand equity.

The talk by Peter Herbel closes a rich series of seminars animated by top leaders in the public sector, FMCG, oil and gas, automotive and banking industries. The interaction of the Global MBA cohort with top level managers provided the students with a unique source of information about current problematics, projects and trends in various industries.[gallery columns="2"]

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