Tag Archives: CFO

Long-time Schlumberger CFO steps down

Long-time Schlumberger CFO Simon Ayat has announced he is stepping down, effective January 22, 2020. He will be replaced by Stephane Biguet, who is currently the VP of Finance for the company.



Mr Ayat joined Schlumberger in 1982 and has been its CFO for the past twelve years. He has a base salary of $1 million, the largest base salary of Houston-area CFOs. After he steps down as CFO he will serve as Senior Strategic Adviser to the company for a period of two years. Mr Ayat will continue to receive his salary and his stock options will continue to vest. He will also be awarded more performance stock options in January 2020.

His exit contract mirrors that given to former CEO Paal Kibsgaard who left the CEO position in July 2019. There had been rumors in the press circulating since last year that Mr Ayat intended to step down. My guess is that he agreed to stay on, pending the CEO transition to Olivier Le Peuch.

Mr Biguet joined the company in 1995 and has served in various financial roles at the company. He will receive a base salary of $770,000

 

SEC filing – Schlumberger – Ayat

 

 

CFO of Frac sand company resigns

Laura Fulton, CFO of Hi-Crush, has resigned, effective 31 December 2019, to pursue another career opportunity.

Hi-Crush has its head office in the Galleria and is a provider of proppant and logistics solutions to the oil and gas industry in North America.



The company went public in 2012 and rode the boom and bust in the fracking industry. At its peak it had a market capitalization of over $1.3 billion. The company currently has a share price of $0.70 and a market capitalization of $69 million.

Ms Fulton has been the CFO since April 2012, joining just prior to the Initial Public Offering. She is also a non-executive director at Targa Resources. Before Hi-Crush she worked at AEI, an energy infrastructure company, and LyondellBasell (for 12 years).

Phil McCormick, VP of Finance, has been appointed as the new CFO. He joined the company in August 2018. Prior to that, he held several positions over nine years at KBR, including Treasurer. He also worked at LyondellBasell for 11 years. Mr McCormick started out at Coopers and Lybrand.

Mr McCormick will receive a base salary of $300,000. Instead of an annual bonus for 2020, he will also receive a retention bonus of $250,000 that will be paid in the summer of 2021.

SEC filing – Hi-Crush

Workforce accommodation specialist appoints new CFO

Carolyn Stone has been appointed CFO of Civeo Corporation. She replaces Frank Steininger. He is staying on at the company as Executive VP of Strategic Initiatives until he retires in March 2020.



Civeo has its head office in downtown Houston. The company provides workforce accommodation services to the oil and gas and mining industries. It has operations in the US, Canada and Australia. The company has a market capitalization of $151 million, though its current share price is only 81 cents.

Ms Stone joined the company in May 2014 as its Controller and Corporate Secretary. Prior to joining Civeo, she was the CFO at Synagro. At that time Synagro was a Houston-based biosolids company that went in Chapter 11 in April 2013. Before that, Ms Stone spent many years working for Dynergy. She started her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Compensation for Ms Stone was not disclosed.

Ms Stone’s appointment means that 10% of all Houston-area public companies have female CFOs. You can see the list of all the companies here.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20191118005882/en/Civeo-Appoints-Carolyn-Stone-Chief-Financial-Officer

 

Weatherford appoints new CFO

Christoph Bausch, CFO of Weatherford International, has resigned effectively immediately. He will be replaced by Christian Garcia, who will begin his new role on January 6, 2020.

Weatherford entered bankruptcy proceedings in July 2019. It is nearing an exit from Chapter 11 that will reduce debt by $6 billion. The bondholders will own 94% of the restructured company. 5% will be set aside for a management incentive plan. Existing shareholders will own the other 1%.



Mr Bausch has been CFO since April 2017. He will receive a severance package of $650,000 (one year’s salary) and a pro-rated bonus for 2019 (not sure how much this will be). Note also that he received a cash retention bonus of $1.3 million in April 2019.

Mr Garcia has been the CFO at Michigan-based Visteon Corporation for the past three years. However, prior to that, he spent ten years at Halliburton including 18 months as interim CFO. In fact, he replaced Mark McCollum, the current CEO of Weatherford, as CFO during Halliburton’s ill-fated proposed merger with Baker Hughes (2015-2016).  At the time of the proposed merger, Mr McCollum was appointed Chief Integration Officer. After the merger fell apart, Mr MCollum was reappointed CFO at Halliburton before becoming the CEO at Weatherford in March 2017.

Mr Garcia will receive a base salary of $675,000 and a one-time sign-on bonus of $500,000. He will also receive a long-term equity award of $2,000,000 that will vest over three years. These will be granted once the company emerges from Chapter 11.

SEC filing – Weatherford CFO

 

Houston biotech company appoints new CFO

CNS Pharmaceuticals, which just went public last week, has officially appointed Christopher Downs as its new CFO.



Mr Downs joins from Innovative Aftermarket Systems LP, a privately held provider of finance and insurance solutions where he was VP of Finance and Treasurer. Prior to that he spent 7 years at InfuSystem Holdings Inc, a provider of infusion systems to oncologists in the US. He is a West Point graduate and has an MBA from Columbia Business School.

CNS doesn’t have any revenues yet and is developing anticancer drugs for the treatment of brain tumors. Based on preclinical data and positive results of the Phase I clinical studies conducted at MD Anderson Cancer Center, the company believes its lead drug candidate, Berubicin, could significantly help in the treatment of glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer that is considered incurable.

The company raised $8.5 million (net of fees) by selling 2.1 million shares at $4, at the low end of its range of $4-$5. Mr Downs agreed to join in September, conditional on the Initial Public Offering being completed.

Mr Downs will receive a base salary of $300,000. He was also granted a 10-year option to purchase 30,000 shares at an exercise price equal to the public offering price per share of the shares sold in the IPO. Mr Downs, who has lived in Houston previously, but currently lives in Utah, will also receive a one-time relocation bonus of $15,000.

Mr Downs replaces Matt Lourie who was the part-time fractional CFO prior to going public.

SEC filing – CNS Pharmaceuticals – CFO

CFO out at Houston E&P company

Gleeson Van Riet has resigned as CFO of SilverBow Resources, effectively immediately. He has been replaced by Chris Abundis, currently General Counsel of the company. Mr Abundis will perform the CFO duties in addition to his current role.



SilverBow is based in west Houston and has a market capitalization of $148 million. The company operates in the Eagle Ford basin in South Texas. It was formerly known as Swift Energy which filed for bankruptcy in December 2015. After the company emerged from bankruptcy in April 2016, it changed its name to SilverBow.

Mr Van Riet was appointed CFO in March 2017. Prior to that he was the CFO of Sanchez Energy. For his severance package he will receive a payment of one year’s salary ($390,000) and one year’s target bonus ($292,500).  He will also receive an acceleration of time-based restricted stock units. These were valued at $85,000 at December 2018.

Mr Abundis joined the company in 2007 and has been the General Counsel since April 2016.

It’s not clear what triggered the departure of Mr Van Riet. The share price has halved since the start of the year, but that’s in line with other E&P companies. The company is not especially leveraged and generated a small positive free cash flow in the third quarter.

However the company did disclose a material weakness in internal controls in the second quarter pertaining to deferred tax accounting. This remained a weakness in the third quarter.

SEC filing – SilverBow CFO

 

Houston E&P company appoints new CFO

Penn Virginia Corporation has appointed Rusty Kelley as its new Chief Financial Officer, effective November 13, 2019. He replaces Steve Hartman, who is leaving the company as previously previously reported in July.



Penn Virginia filed for bankruptcy in May 2016 and moved its headquarters from Pennsylvania to west Houston as part of that process. It emerged from bankruptcy in September 2016.  In October 2018 the company announced that it would be acquired for $1.7 billion (including debt) by Denbury Resources. However that deal collapsed in March due to shareholder opposition.

Mr Kelley was previously the CFO of Extraction Oil & Gas, a public company based in Denver, from July 2014 to September 2019. Prior to that he worked as an investment banker for Moelis & Company and Goldman Sachs. He will have a base salary of $400,000.

Penn Virginia currently has a market cap of $411 million and an enterprise value of $933 million. That’s way below the $1.7 billion that Denbury agreed to pay. Given his investment banker background, I presume Mr Kelley has been brought in to help sell the company.

SEC filing – Penn Virginia new CFO

 

 

McDermott CFO resigns after worse than expected results

McDermott International has announced the resignation of CFO Stuart Spence, effectively immediately. Chris Krummel, currently the Chief Accounting Officer, has been promoted to the CFO position.



It’s been approximately two weeks since the company announced that it had obtained $1.7 billion in additional financing (at 12% interest rates) to tackle its liquidity crisis. In the same press release, the company also announced that the senior management were granted retention bonuses. Mr Spence was granted $1.3 million, with a third of that payable immediately.

McDermott announced third quarter results even worse than forecast last month in its refinancing presentation. Free cash flow for the quarter was a negative $146 million compared with negative $86 million in the presentation.

The SEC filing by the company makes no mention of the severance package, if any, that would be granted to Mr Spence. If he has truly resigned voluntarily he would be required to repay the retention bonus already paid out.

Interestingly, the company has signed contracts with the senior executives that only spell out severance payments in the event of a change in control. There is no formal provision for severance in the event of an involuntary termination without cause. When the predecessor to Mr Spence left in 2014 he received a lump sum payment of $640,000. His salary at the time was $515,000.

Mr Krummel joined the company in October 2016. He was previously the Chief Accounting Officer of Cameron International. No compensation was disclosed for Mr Krummel.

[Update 11-13-19 : McDermott has filed another 8-K. Mr Spence will receive a severance of $866,666.67. That’s the balance of the $1.3 million retention bonus not already paid out. His restricted stock units will also vest. They are valued at less than $100,000 with the stock price currently at 67 cents. His deferred consideration will also fully vest (worth approx $70,000).

Mr Krummel will be paid $600,000 a year.]

SEC filing – McDermott CFO resignation

Building Products company appoints new CFO

Quanex Building Products has appointed Scott Zuehlke as its new CFO. He became the interim CFO in June 2019 after previous CFO Brent Korb was let go.



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Quanex has a market cap of $635 million and is based in the Galleria area. The company designs and produces energy-efficient windows and doors fenestration products in addition to kitchen and bath cabinet components.

Mr Zuehlke has been with the company since 2016. Prior to that, he was VP, Investor Relations at Halcon Resources. The company had been conducting an executive search but elected to promote from within instead. Mr Zuehlke will receive a base salary of $330,000.

The company also appointed Mark Livingston as its new Chief Accounting Officer. He joined the company in February 2019, having previously served as the CAO of Omega Protein Corporation until it was taken private in December 2017.

Quanex also made similar moves with its General Counsel. It promoted Paul Cornett from the Deputy Counsel role and terminated the employment of Kevin Delaney who had been in the role since 2005. Mr Delaney will get a severance of $562,500 (representing 18 months’ of salary) and a pro-rata bonus for 2019.

SEC filing – Quanex Building Products – new CFO

Midstream MLP appoints new CFO

Michael Pearl has been appointed as the new CFO of the general partner of Western Midstream Partners.

Occidental fully owns the general partner stake and around 55% of the limited partner units. The company gained ownership following its takeover of Anadarko earlier this year. Western Midstream has a market cap of $10.3 billion and has its head office in The Woodlands.



Mr Pearl joined Anadarko in 2004 and served in various leadership positions such as Director of Tax, Treasurer, Corporate Controller and Senior VP of Investor Relations. He started his career at Ernst & Young.

Mr Pearl replaces Jaime Casas who has been appointed the VP and Treasurer of Occidental.

The company also announced the appointment of Catherine Green as the Chief Accounting Officer of the general partner of Western Midstream. She joined Anadarko in 2001 and started her career with Grant Thornton in the United Kingdom and Houston.

After its takeover of Anadarko, Occidental planned to sell Western Midstream to reduce debt. Or least sell enough of a stake so that it didn’t have to consolidate the $7.5 billion debt that Western Midstream carries.

Earlier this month, according to Reuters, Occidental shelved plans to sell Western Midstream because Western’s market value has dropped by 18% since July 30 and Occidental doesn’t want to sell at too low a price.

You can see the complete list of Houston-area publicly-traded companies here.

SEC filing – Western Midstream CFO