Retired President & CEO, Nexen Inc.
Charlie Fischer was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on March 21, 1950. He attended the University of Calgary, graduating in 1971 with a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering, and again in 1982 with a Masters Degree in Business Administration, Finance.
Upon graduation, Mr. Fischer was employed by Dome Petroleum as a Natural Gas Processing Engineer. In 1972, he joined Hudson’s Bay Oil and Gas and worked in several areas, including Gas Processing, Production Operations, and Corporate Planning. In 1982, he joined Bow Valley Industries as Manager, Corporate Planning, and became Vice-President, Planning and Development in 1987.
In April of 1988, Mr. Fischer joined TransCanada Pipelines as President of its upstream oil and gas subsidiaries, TCPL Resources Ltd. and Encor Energy Corporation Inc. In May of 1989, TransCanada consolidated all of its upstream assets into a new public entity, Encor Inc., (established under a Plan of Arrangement). Mr. Fischer served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Encor Inc. until it was acquired by Talisman Energy Inc. in May of 1993.
Mr. Fischer joined Nexen in February of 1994, as Senior Vice President, Exploration and Production, North America. In this capacity, he was responsible for Nexen’s conventional oil and gas business in Western Canada and the U.S. Gulf Coast, its oil sands interests in Alberta, and its Marketing activities and Information Systems activities worldwide. In June of 1997, Mr. Fischer was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and his role was expanded to include Nexen’s international oil and gas operations. In 2000, he was appointed to the Nexen Board, and on June 1, 2001 Mr. Fischer was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer, a position he held until his retirement at the end of 2008.
Mr. Fischer joined the Boards of Pure Technologies Ltd. in May of 2009, and Enbridge Inc. in July of the same year. In addition, he co-chairs the Board of Climate Change Central, and has recently been appointed to the Boards of two Alberta-based organizations, the Climate Change and Emission Management Corporation (CCEMC) and Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions. On the national front, Mr. Fischer is a participant in the Clean Energy Dialogue between the governments of Canada and the United States, co-chairing the Carbon Capture and Storage discussions.
Mr. Fischer is also very active in the community. He is Vice Chair of the Board of Governors at the University of Calgary and participates on all Board Committees. He also sits on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Faculty of Medicine there. In addition, he is the Chair of the Hull Child and Family Foundation, Chair of the Honorary Patrons’ Council for the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, Vice Chair of the Canada West Foundation, a member of the Calgary Airport Authority Business Development Advisory Council, and a special advisor to SAIT Polytechnique, supporting their capital campaign.
Past Board service includes Nexen Inc., Nova Chemicals, Syncrude Canada Ltd., the Alberta Economic Development Authority, and the C. D. Howe Institute. Mr. Fischer also served as Chair of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and one of its predecessor organizations, the Independent Petroleum Association of Canada.
At the community level, Mr. Fischer served an earlier term on the University of Calgary Board of Governors from 1994 to 1999 and on the Faculty of Management Advisory Council for eight years. He also served on the Hull Child and Family Services Board for six years – two as Chair, and on the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation Board for twelve years – two as Chair. Following his term on the Board of the Children’s Hospital Foundation, he co-chaired a very successful capital campaign which raised over $50 million to support the building of a new Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary. Mr. Fischer is also a past Board member of the Canadian Olympic Development Authority (CODA) and the McMahon Stadium Society, and he is a Past President of the Calgary Petroleum Club.
In 2001, Mr. Fischer was the recipient of the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Management’s MAX award. In 2003, he received the University of Calgary’s Hal Godwin Award for Excellence in International Business and the University of Calgary’s Faculty Association Recognition Award. Mr. Fischer was also the recipient of the Association of Fund Raising Professionals’ Generosity of Spirit Award in recognition of his fundraising efforts with the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation. In 2004, Mr. Fischer was the recipient of the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business Distinguished Leader Award. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Calgary in June of 2004. In May of 2005, Mr. Fischer was the recipient of the prestigious President’s Award from Calgary’s Strategic Leadership Forum. He was awarded the President’s Partnership Award by the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in November, and in December, Mr. Fischer was recognized as the 2005 Business Person of the Year by Alberta Venture magazine. On November 30, 2006, Mr. Fischer was awarded the University of Calgary’s Canadian Engineering Leader Award. In February of 2009, Mr. Fischer was named Resource Person of the Year by the Alberta Chamber of Resources and in October of 2009, he was honoured as the Canadian Energy Person of the Year by the Energy Council of Canada.
Charlie is married to Joanne Cuthbertson, Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Calgary. They have two daughters, Kate and Lindsay. He enjoys tennis, skiing and golf for relaxation.