Tag Archives: CFO

Crown Castle CFO changes his mind and will stay

Dan Schlanger, CFO of Crown Castle, has changed his mind and will now stay with the company. Back in October, he announced he would be leaving the company at the end of March.

But that was before CEO Jay Brown resigned in December, 10 days after activist investor, Elliott Management, called for changes at the company. Tony Melone, a Board member, replaced Mr. Brown, as interim CEO. Subsequently, the company announced a strategic review of its underperforming fiber business.

To help persuade Mr. Schlanger to stay at the company, the Board has granted him 21,085 restricted stock units that will vest in two tranches by the end of this year. At today’s stock price, those units are worth almost $2.3 million. Presumably by the end of 2024, there will be a new CEO in place and there will be actions taken for the Fiber business.

The company also announced that Chris Levendos will revert back to being the COO of the Fiber business. In addition, Mike Kavanagh, the Chief Commercial Officer, was promoted to be COO for Towers.

The day before Elliott took its stake, Mr. Levendos was promoted from being the COO of Fiber to being the COO of the overall company.

Laura Nickel, Executive VP of Business Support, also appears to be out at the company, although this was not mentioned in the press release. She is no longer listed as part of the Executive Management team that Crown Castle included as part of its earnings release.

SEC filing – 8-K – Crown Castle CFO to stay



Target Hospitality promotes from within for CFO

Target Hospitality, based in The Woodlands, has promoted Jason Vlacich to be its CFO. He replaces Eric Kalamaras, effective immediately. The company said it will approve terms in connection with Mr Kalamaras’ departure at a later date.

Mr. Vlacich joined the company in October 2018 as its Chief Accounting Officer. He started his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Mr. Vlacich will receive a base salary of $410,000.

The business originally provided rental modular accommodation to the US fields. It still does that, but almost 75% of its revenue and 90% of its profits comes from government contracts. The biggest is providing housing for unaccompanied minors at a Children’s Center in Pecos in west Texas. Target’s contract is with Endeavors, a non-profit organization. In turn, Endeavors has received a $580 million contract from the US government.

Target has a long history of operating government contracts. It provided logistical services at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and operated a cruise ship to support relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Target was taken public by a SPAC in March 2019 and now has a market cap of $939 million.  Mr. Kalamaras joined as CFO in September 2019.

It is unclear why the company is stating that severance will be agreed later as the employment contract that Mr. Kalamaras signed is very clear. The contract, amended in January 2022, states that Mr. Kalamaras will receive 1x the sum of annual base salary ($427,450)  plus target bonus ($427,450). In addition, he will receive a pro-rated bonus for 2024 (plus his 2023 bonus that, presumably, has not yet been paid).

SEC filing – 8-K – Target Hospitality CFO change

CFO of Space Infrastructure company resigns

Erik Sallee, the CFO of Intuitive Machines (‘LUNR’), has resigned for personal reasons. Steven Vontur, the current Controller, will serve as the interim CFO while the company conducts a search for a permanent CFO.

LUNR is based in Clear Lake, near NASA and is developing products for space exploration. The company was taken public by a SPAC in February 2023.

Mr. Sallee is based in California and the company said he was pursuing other business opportunities in that state. Before joining IM, he was the Corporate Controller for Blue Origin. Prior to that he worked for Raytheon.

The company’s first launch is scheduled for mid-February with the spacecraft landing on the moon about a week after launch. A competing private company, Astrobotic, is set to make its first launch on January 8. Its craft takes a more indirect route to the moon, so both may land around the same time. Both missions are related to NASA’s Artemis program, which intends to put astronauts back on the moon.

LUNR’s stock has a wild ride since going public. It began trading at $10, rose to $136 later that month before crashing back down to $12 in March 2023, despite no news from the company. The stock currently trades at $2.53.

Revenues miss projections

In its investor presentation as part of going public, the company projected its revenue would be $291 million in 2023 and $759 million in 2024. In its latest quarterly report, revenues for the nine months to September 2023 were $49 million. All three of its main contracts were loss-making, with total cost of sales of $71 million for the same period.

At the end of September 2023, the company had backlog of $135 million. That doesn’t include anything from NASA OMES 3 space orbital program. The contract, which began in late 2023, is projected to be worth $719 million over five years and has been awarded to the joint venture LUNR has with KBR.

Nauticus Robotics, another nearby company with strong connections to NASA is also looking for a new CFO.

SEC filing 8-K – Intuitive Machines CFO



Marie Myers appointed CFO at Hewlett Packard Enterprises

Marie Myers has been appointed CFO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (‘HPE’). She replaces Tarek Robbiati, who resigned in August to become the CEO at RingCentral. Ms. Myers joins the company from HP Inc where she was CFO. Interim CFO Jeremy Cox will revert back to his previous role of Corporate Controller.

HP and HPE were part of the same company until they split in 2015. HP (market cap $31 billion) concentrates on consumer products and printers, whereas HPE (market cap $21 billion) focuses on enterprise-facing hardware and cloud business.

Ms. Myers is a native of Australia and started her career with the Department of Trade and Industry and Treasury. She moved to Houston to finish her MBA and then joined Compaq (acquired by HP in 2002). She left HP in 2018 to become the CFO at UiPath, a robotic process automation company, before rejoining just over a year later. Ms. Myers was appointed CFO of HP in 2021.

At HP, Ms. Myers had a base salary of $780,000. At HPE, she will have a salary of $850,000 (same base as Mr. Robbiati). She will also receive a cash sign-on bonus of $1 million (paid half now, half in 12 months).

SEC filing 8-k HPE CFO appointment

Long-serving CFO at EOG Resources to retire

EOG Resources has appointed Ann Janssen as its new CFO. She replaces Tim Driggers, who is retiring from EOG in 2024. Ms. Janssen takes over on January 1, 2024 with Mr. Driggers serving as an advisor to the company.

EOG has its head office in downtown Houston and is one of the largest independent oil and gas producers in the US . (Independents only produce, they don’t own refining or marketing assets). The company has a market cap of $69 billion.

Mr. Driggers, 61, joined the company in 1995 and has been CFO since July 2007. Ms. Janssen, 58, also joined in 1995 and has been the Chief Accounting Officer since February 2018. Her base salary will be $600,000.

Laura Distefano has been promoted to Chief Accounting Officer. She joined the company this year and serves as the VP of Accounting. Prior to that, she was an Audit Partner in Houston at both BDO and Deloitte.

The company also announced the promotion of Jeff Leitzell from VP, Exploration and Production to Chief Operating Officer. He has been with the company for 15 years. Current COO, Billy Helms, will serve as President of EOG.

SEC filing – 8-k – EOG CFO

Subsea Robotics company terminates contract of CFO

Nauticus Robotics has terminated the contracts of CFO Rangan Padmanabhan and Chief Legal and Administrative Officer Dilshad Kasmani. The company did not give a reason, but they did say it was not for cause, meaning the two men will be entitled to severance.

Nauticus, based in Webster, was taken public by a SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation) in September 2022. The company is developing tetherless, autonomous electric-powered robots that can be controlled by staff onshore.

As with many SPACs, the share price has plunged since going public at $10 per share. It now trades at $1.10.

The company is in the process of acquiring 3D at Depth, a subsea laser LiDAR inspection and data services company for $34 million in stock.

Victoria Hay has been appointed interim CFO. She will receive cash compensation of $30,000 a month and was also granted 40,000 restricted stock units that will vest on the earlier of her termination or one year from the date of grant. Mrs. Hay has been provided consulting services since the start of the year. She spent 13 years in various roles at Weatherford International, mostly recently as Senior Director – Global Accounting and Reporting Services.

Mr. Padmanabhan was appointed CFO in May 2022. He spent many years at Solaris Asset Management and is a graduate of Rice University. Neither his salary nor his severance package has yet been disclosed publicly.

SEC filing – Nauticus CFO termination

US Silica Holdings CFO departs after 10 years

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].

SEC filing – 8-K – US Silica CFO departure


Crown Castle CFO to depart

Dan Schlanger, CFO of Crown Castle (CCI), will leave the company in March 2024. The company is conducting a search that will include both internal and external candidates.

[UPDATE 01-24-24 Mr. Schlanger has decided to stay with the company after the recent departure of CEO Jay Brown].

CCI owns and operates 40,000 large cell towers, 120,000 small cells and 85,000 miles of fiber. The company has revenues of around $7 billion, 90% of which comes from the rental of its infrastructure.

Back in July, the company announced it would cut headcount by 15% and close a number of regional offices. CCI has been suffering a downtown as the mobile operators complete their 5G rollout. The T-Mobile takeover of Sprint badly affected the company. This will reduce tower revenues by $200 million a year from 2025.

Mr. Schlanger was appointed the CFO in June 2016. Prior to joining CCI, he spent 9 years at Exterran, another Houston company. He has also worked for Merrill Lynch as an investment banker.

He will receive severance in accordance with the agreement he signed when he joined the company. That amounts to $1.4 million (1x base salary, $620k, 1x annual bonus, $620k plus pro-rata bonus for 2024, $155k).

In addition, any restricted stock units would also vest. According to the most recent proxy statement, these were valued at $1.6 million. That was assuming a stock price of $135 (the price at December 31, 2022). The current stock price of CCI is $90.

Mr. Schlanger is the second senior executive to depart in recent months. Back in August, Cathy Piche, Chief Operating Officer – Towers, resigned to take a position at Phoenix Tower International, a smaller competitor to CCI.

SEC filing – CCI CFO departure


Oxy promotes Sunil Mathew to be its new CFO

Occidental Petroleum (‘Oxy’) has promoted Sunil Mathew to be its new CFO. He replaces Rob Peterson, who has been appointed Executive Vice President of Occidental Chemical (‘OxyChem’).

Oxy has its head office in Greenway Plaza in Houston and has a market capitalization of $56 billion.

Mr. Mathew joined the company in 2004 in Qatar and moved to the US three years later. He is currently the VP of Strategic Planning, Analysis and Business Development. He was promoted to this role in April 2020, the same time that Mr. Peterson was appointed CFO. Mr. Mathew holds  a Bachelors degree in Electronics Engineering and a MBA.

Mr. Peterson joined OxyChem in 1996 and served as its President from 2014-2017. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a MBA.

Oxy plans to build 100 direct-air carbon capture plants by 2035. In his new role, Mr. Peterson will be in charge of operational readiness for Oxy’s first such plant, which is located in West Texas.

At the time of their appointments in April 2020, Oxy was under a lot of stress. It had acquired Anadarko for $36 billion in August 2019. But the debt it took on and the collapse in oil prices due to Covid, led to activist investor, Carl Icahn, calling it ‘one of the worst disasters in financial history’. Mr. Peterson was appointed CFO a week after Oxy and Mr. Icahn reached a truce.

How times have changed. Oxy was the best performing stock in the S&P 500 in 2022 and it has halved its long-term debt from $39 billion to $19 billion.  Last week, the stock of Icahn Enterprises plunged 30% after the company disclosed that the SEC was investigating the company following allegations by a short seller that the company was inflating the value of its investments.

SEC filing – 8-K Oxy Mathew CFO

CFO of HPE resigns to take CEO job at RingCentral

Tarek Robbiati, CFO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (‘HPE’), is leaving to become CEO of RingCentral, with effect from August 25. Jeremy Cox, Corporate Controller & Chief Tax Officer, has been appointed interim CFO while the company conducts a search for a permanent replacement.

RingCentral is based in Silicon Valley, which is where HPE had its headquarters until it moved to Spring, TX in 2020. RingCentral has a market cap of $3.7 billion, compared to HPE’s $22 billion. The company provides enterprise cloud communications, collaboration and contact center solutions, primarily through subscription services.

RingCentral CEO Vlad Shmunis founded the company in 1999 and is transitioning to Executive Chairman. To make run for Mr. Robbiati, Mo Katibeh, COO for the past 18 months, is leaving the company.

Mr. Robbiati became a non-executive director of RingCentral in January of this year.

Diverse Background

Mr. Robbiati was appointed CFO of HPE in August 2018. He holds both Italian and Lebanese citizenship and is fluent in six languages. He has a degree in Nuclear Physics and Electronics from Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Ingénieurs, Caen, France and an MBA from the London Business School.

Mr. Robbiati started his career as an R&D Engineer for Schlumberger in France but has mostly worked in Telecoms in UK, Australia and Hong Kong. He was CEO of FlexiGroup, an Australian financial services group, before becoming the CFO of Sprint in 2015.

Conventional Background

Mr. Cox has been with HPE or its predecessors since 2008 and has a more orthodox background. He has a degree from Texas Tech. Most of his experience has been in Tax. He was promoted to Corporate Controller a year ago.

SEC filing – 8-K Robbiati resignation