U.S. Silica Holdings CFO Don Merril has been terminated without cause, with immediate effect. Kevin Hough, VP and Corporate Controller, has been appointed interim CFO. Mr. Hough had previously told the company that he intends to retire in 2024, so the company is performing a search for a new CFO.
U.S. Silica has its head office in Katy, Texas. It primarily produces silica which is used as a proppant in fracking. It also produces diatomaceous earth which is used as a filtration product in various industries. The company has a market capitalization of $1 billion.
Mr. Merril joined the company in 2012 and became its CFO the following year. The company has said it is still negotiating the terms of the separation agreement with Mr. Merrill.
According to the annual proxy, Mr Merril would normally be entitled to one years salary ($440,000) and acceleration of unvested stock ($2.6 million at December 31, 2022). Unusually, there’s no mention of a payment of an annual bonus in the event of a termination. For 2022, Mr. Merril received a cash bonus of nearly $600,000.
[UPDATE 11-24-23 – In an 8-K filing, the company said Mr. Merril will receive a bonus for 2023 to be paid in early 2024. That’s in addition to the $440k and the vesting of the time-based restricted stock. The performance-based restricted stock will vest once the results of the company have been certified].