Floyd Wilson, the Chairman & CEO of Halcon Resources has resigned. CFO Mark Mize and Steve Herod, Executive VP of Corporate Development have also left the company.
Halcon (market cap $300 million) is based in downtown Houston and operates properties in the Delaware Basin in west Texas. Halcon had entered into a pre-packaged bankruptcy agreement in 2016. Creditors wrote off $1.8 billion in debt in return for the 96% of the common stock post-reorganization.
Earlier this month, activist investor, Fir Tree Capital Management, who owns 7% of Halcon, called on the directors to sell the company and cut its excessive corporate overhead. They argued the stock market valued its Permian Basin acreage at less than $5,000 per acre, compared to peers whose acreage is valued at $20,000 per acre.
They also argued that Halcon’s G&A cost per 2018 barrel of oil equivalent (boe) was $8, more than double the figure of many of its peers.
Mr Wilson had been the CEO for 7 years. In 2004 he had started Petrohawk Energy which he sold to BHP for $12 billion in 2011. Mr Mize and Mr Herod also worked at Petrohawk.
The departing executives were well paid. Mr Wilson had a base salary of $800,000, Mr Mize $400,000 and Mr Herod $450,000. Somewhat controversially the three received retention bonuses in 2016 worth $5.2 million to stick with the company through bankruptcy.
The company has not yet disclosed the severance packages that the executives will receive. According to the annual proxy, each will get double their annual salary (1x base, plus 1x target bonus).
James Christmas, the Lead Independent Director, has been appointed the Non-Executive Chairman. The company will begin a search for a new CEO. In the interim, a management committee led by David Elkouri, Chief Legal Officer, will run the company. Quentin Hicks, currently Executive VP of Finance, Capital Markets and Investor Relations, will assume the role of CFO.