Rick George, a Canadian oilsands pioneer, died Tuesday following a year-and-a-half battle with acute myeloid leukemia. He was 67. George was CEO of Suncor Energy beginning in 1991, then a fledgling operator, until he retired in 2012. He then became chairman of Penn-West Petroleum Ltd. in 2012, now Obsidian Energy Ltd. After graduating from Colorado State University, George joined Chevron Corp. predecessor Texaco, where he worked as a project engineer by day and attended law school at night, eventually passing the Texas state bar. He also worked at Sun Co. Inc., which then owned a majority stake in Suncor. George became president and COO of Suncor in 1990 and was appointed CEO a year later. In 2009, he led the takeover of Petro-Canada. The Colorado native leaves behind wife Julie, children Matthew, Zachary and Emily, and grandchildren. “With heavy hearts, we are determined to embrace challenges and adventure with the same rigor that he demonstrated every day,” his family said. Obsidian CEO David French said, “It was a privilege to know the man, and experience his leadership and devotion to our industry. Over his tenure as our Chairman, Rick reshaped our company from top to bottom. Rick’s legacy will continue with the many lives he has touched.”
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