Remembering Rick GEORGE

Canadian Business Hall of Fame – Class of 2016 Rick George
In 2013, Alberta Oil magazine called Rick George “Canada’s greatest oilman of the last 30 years.” It’s hard to argue. Under his leadership, Suncor Energy transformed itself from a private and underperforming oil sands company to Canada’s largest publicly- traded integrated energy company. Mr. George was born in Brush, Colorado. The day after graduating high school, he got a job in the oil patch. “I fell in love with the industry,” he said. He studied engineering in university, returned to the patch, then studied law at night. Mr. George spent 10 years with Sun Company, and was managing director of Sun Oil Britain before moving to Canada in 1991.
The Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame, of which he’s a member, said Mr. George made two vital decisions early at Suncor that made him a visionary: investigate new technologies and allocate substantial funds for acquiring new leases. When Suncor went public in 1992, it had a market cap of just over $1 billion. By the time Mr. George retired in 2012, Suncor was worth over $50 billion.
Mr. George was a partner of Novo Investment Group, and served as chair of Osum Oil Sands Corp. and PennWest Petroleum Ltd.
When he talked to young entrepreneurs, he told them not to accept the status quo, and learn new things every day. “You create your own luck by intellectual curiosity.”
His advice for leaders? “Sometimes, you think you need to hire people who are going to think like you. I never looked at it like that in my career. Hiring people smarter than you will make your life a lot easier. If people have that inquisitive feel and want to continuously improve, set a goal and turn them loose. It’s amazing what can get done.”