Alumni in Focus: Peter Larden

Peter Larden

Peter Larden graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) and a Bachelor of Finance and was a University medal recipient. He has since achieved success all over the globe, holding multiple managerial positions across several international regions including Africa, North America and the Pacific. Peter was most recently appointed as the new Chairman and Managing Director of ExxonMobil in Papua New Guinea.

What are your hobbies?
My favourite way to spend time off is with my family. Our three year old keeps us forever entertained. Otherwise, I love to travel and have visited around 50 countries through work and leisure. I also enjoy days at the beach or on my bike. 

Favourite place to eat when in Adelaide?
No matter how far I’ve travelled, you can never match a parmi and pint from any number of Adelaide’s pubs (but I’m not going to get into the debate of where you’ll find Adelaide’s best!)

If I could go back to my University days I would... 
Become more involved in University Sports. Swimming and water polo were a big part of my school life, but I only represented the University of Adelaide on a handful of occasions.

Most prized possession?
Sounds cliché, but my most prized possession is wonderful memories and experiences, both from growing up in Adelaide and the last 16 years on the ‘road’.

I can’t get enough of...
Salt and vinegar chips

Something that makes you smile?
My beautiful three year old daughter, Millicent.

Something you are grateful for?
Two things... Everything my parents (Marg and Doug Larden) invested in me throughout my early years, which has provided many opportunities since. Secondly, all the support my wife and daughter (Taryn and Millicent) have provided, allowing such a unique international career and set of life experiences.

If I could pursue a different career I would…
Start a brewery, which was the original reason I chose to study Chemical Engineering at the University of Adelaide!

The most valuable lesson I have learned?
Keep everything in perspective… because perspective is everything.

I cannot get through the day without... 
30 minutes to myself.

Three words your closest friends would use to describe you?
You’d have to ask them... But my wife tells me they would be driven, caring and astute.

Your definition of success?
Being part of a fun and loving family, and a enjoying a diverse and rewarding career.

My mother taught me...
To never do anything by halves.

Your career path in two sentences or less?
Diverse, dynamic… and only half way done!

Biggest career highlight?
Working in Chad, Africa was a highlight, learning about the wonderful culture, people and the beneficial impacts our industry can have on the country and communities. That said, I’m humbled to have just arrived in Papua New Guinea as the incoming Managing Director for ExxonMobil PNG. Not only do I get to be part of this fantastic US$20B PNG LNG project, but I’ll also be able to explore this beautiful country, get to know their friendly people and learn about their diverse culture. I’m really excited about that, and I’m sure it will be another highlight both professionally and personally.

2020 is the year that I...
Stayed positive, enjoyed time with family, reconnected with old-friends, and explored a beautiful corner of the world (Atlantic Canada).

How do you relax?
A day at the beach, a walk with my wife, a beer with a mate, or a spin on my bike.

When I get home the first thing I do is...
Rumble with my daughter.

The biggest risk I have taken?
Living and working across five continents in the first 15 years of my career… oh, and sky-diving (twice!) 

A misconception about you?
That I will ever be satisfied with something done by halves! 

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