Alyeska CEO Resigns Following Truthout Exposé

Kevin Hostler, the chief executive officer of Alyeska Pipeline, informed employees at the company Wednesday morning that he “plans to retire to Houston and to spend time with his family.”

The announcement comes one day after Truthout published an extensive investigative report that was highly critical of his leadership of the company and revealed details of alleged mismanagement based on information obtained from senior Alyeska officials and hundreds of pages of internal documents.

Over the past several months, Alyeska Pipeline and Hostler have been under intense scrutiny by a Congressional oversight committee and an independent investigator, who has been probing explosive allegations leveled by managers that severe cost-cutting efforts could put the integrity of the 800-mile TAPS line at risk.

Hostler has come under fire for his management style. According to a copy of a confidential employee work survey obtained by Truthout, Hostler was described as “a narcissistic despot who will be remembered for his management style of intimidation and fear.”

“At the senior management level, [Hostler] has made a mockery of the [Open Work Environment] system by neutering our VPs and Directors who are openly afraid to disagree with his initiatives, even when it is detrimental to TAPS,” says a copy of the survey.

Other surveys provided to Truthout contained similar descriptions of Hostler.

Alyeska employees told Truthout that the announcement was made during a meeting this morning. According a company-wide email obtained by Truthout, Hostler will exit the company September 30. The announcement said “Hostler previously told employees he planned to leave the company at the end of 2010.”

“Retiring at the end of September is good for [the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System] and allows enough time for a proper transition,” Hostler said in an email distributed to Alyeska employees on Wednesday. “Our executive team and other Alyeska leaders have worked toward developing leadership skills so that any transition in the organization is seamless.

“Our core values are shared and practiced at all levels of TAPS and while a CEO helps set expectations, it is the workforce that delivers performance. I am proud of the many achievements and improvements we have seen on TAPS since I came on board in 2005, and I am confident that the new CEO will continue to work to prepare Alyeska for a strong future.”

BP is the largest shareholder of Alyeska and Hostler is a BP executive “on loan” to the company. BP exerts significant control and influence over the way Alyeska is operated, senior BP and Alyeska officials said.

Prior to being named chief executive of Alyeska, Hostler spent 27 years with BP, most recently as senior vice president of BP's global human resources organization. Before that, Hostler was head of BP's subsidiary in Colombia.