Ten Minute Interview: Keith Johnston
Keith Johnston joined Cortez earlier this year as General Manager – Commercial and Projects. He tells us how he climbed up the ranks in energy as well as how to make a mean pizza in this Ten Minute Interview…
How did you get to where you are today?
I studied a degree in Law and Management at the Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen. After graduating I started my career as a Trainee Tendering Engineer at Halliburton Subsea which then went on to become Subsea7. I spent six years at Subsea7 developing technical and commercial knowledge before going to an SME specialising in renewables, including cable installation and trenching. Subsequently I held commercial management positions at GE and GMS before joining Cortez in February to head up the Commercial function.
What does your typical working day involve?
Essentially my role involves providing commercial guidance across the business from tendering to contract negotiation and supply chain to project management, developing commercial strategies and working towards improving best practices in a constantly evolving market.
How would your friends describe you?
They would hopefully describe me as being social and outgoing, a big supporter of Aberdeen Football Club (AFC) over the years, and someone who is positive in adversity. (which you need if you support AFC)
Outside of work, what do you get up to?
I used to play five a side regularly, however recurring knee issues and several operations later, I’ve had to hang up my boots. I have recently taken up cycling and can be found out and about on the country roads.
What is your signature dish to cook?
I have recently mastered stone baked pizzas, making my own dough and using my Ooni – a wood fired pizza oven for the garden. It has been a great lockdown activity!
What is the most important life lesson you have learned?
To treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself.
What makes you smile?
Spending time with my other half, my wife Jennifer. We got married in 2015 at Elsick House on the outskirts of Aberdeen, near to where we live today. We enjoy travelling to other countries and attending live music concerts.
What’s your biggest bugbear?
Too much talk about Brexit – it’s now time to move on from the decision and focus on other important issues for the country.
How would you describe working at Cortez/the energy industry?
I wanted to join Cortez as it is leading innovation in the industry. Working at a technology focussed business means every day is interesting and we are shaping the future of industry projects.