Tag Archives: CFO

LNG company replaces CFO


Cheniere LNG – Sabine Pass – Roy Luck

Cheniere Energy has appointed Zach Davis as its new CFO. He replaces Michael Wortley, who steps down from the role, effective immediately. Mr Wortley will remain employed through the end of the month.

Cheniere is based in downtown Houston and was the pioneer in developing Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) for export. It currently has a market capitalization of $13 billion.

Mr Davis joined the company in 2016 as the VP of Finance and Planning and was promoted to Senior VP, Finance in February 2020. Prior to joining Cheniere, he held energy investment banking and finance roles at Credit Suisse, Marathon Capital and HSH Nordbank.

Mr Davis will receive a salary of $500,000. He also received a restricted stock grant for the same amount that vests over three years.

Mr Wortley, 43, has been CFO since January 2014 when the market cap of the company was about $10 billion. He joined Cheniere in 2005. He will receive:

  • a cash severance bonus of $2,857,000 when he leaves.
  • a cash payment of $1,946,000, payable in February 2021.
  • one year’s salary ($715,000) to be paid over the next year.
  • $75,000 transitional allowance for health insurance or other associated expenses.
  • Vesting of restricted stock and performance stock awards that were scheduled to vest in 2021 and 2022. At the current stock price, I think these are worth around $5.5 million.

SEC filing – Cheniere CFO change

Oilfield Services company appoints new CFO

Flotek Industries has appointed Mike Borton as its new CFO. He replaces Elizabeth Wilkinson, who left in June. The company, which has its head office in NW Houston, develops and supplies oilfield chemicals. The company recently acquired JP3, data analytics business for $34 million.

Mr Borton was recently the CFO at Dynasty Sports and Entertainment, a Boca Raton-based data analytics company from April 2019 to July 2020. Prior to that, he was the CFO at a couple of SaaS (Software-as-a-service) companies.


Mr Borton will be relocating back to Houston. Earlier in his career, he spent five years as Group Controller at Landmark Graphics, during which the business was acquired by Halliburton. He will receive a one-time relocation allowance of $25,000.

The salary of Mr Borton will be $340,000, and he will eligible for a target annual bonus of 80% of base salary. If he is terminated without cause, he will receive a severance amount of 12 months’ worth of base salary.

The share price of the company (currently $1.38) has recently recovered such that the company has regained compliance with the listing standards of the New York Stock Exchange.

SEC Filing – Flotek Borton appointment



CFO leaves struggling retailer

[Update 08-02-20 Tailored Brands has now filed for bankruptcy]

Jack Calandra, CFO of Tailored Brands, is leaving the company in a cost-cutting move. The retailer, which has its head office in the Westchase area of Houston, operates 1,445 stores (mainly Men’s Wearhouse and Jos A Bank) and has been hit hard by global pandemic. All stores were shut between mid-March and early May. Sales are down substantially since most they reopened.

At the beginning of this month, the company announced it had elected not to pay interest on its 7% Senior Notes due 2022. Legally, the company has a 30-day grace period to make the payment before the non-payment is considered a default. In practice, it is negotiating with lenders on terms for a possible bankruptcy plan.

Mr Calandra will leave effective July 31, 2020. He will receive a lump sum payment of $600,000, which is the equivalent of one year’s base salary. The company has no immediate plans to replace Mr Calandra. Instead his duties will be divided up between CEO Dinesh Lathi and Holly Etlin, who has been appointed Chief Restructuring Officer. Ms Etlin is a Managing Director at AlixPartners.

The company has promoted John Vazquez to be the Chief Accounting Officer and Treasury. He was serving as the Vice President – Financial Reporting.

Layoffs and Store closures

The company will close up to 500 stores and reduce its corporate workforce by approximately 20%. It will record a $6 million charge for severance and other termination costs in the current quarter.

At the end of February 2020, the company had debt of $1.1 billion. In June it announced that it  had borrowed an additional $310 million from the credit facility. The company had $200 million of cash on hand. It’s market capitalization is currently just $34 million.

Disastrous Acquisition

As a reminder, back in September 2013, Jos A Bank made an unsolicited offer to buy Houston-based The Men’s Wearhouse for $2.3 billion (in cash at a 42% premium). Instead The Men’s Wearhouse ended up buying Jos A Bank for $1.8 billion in June 2014 (in cash at a 56% premium). The combined company was renamed Tailored Brands. Within 18 months, it had written off $1.3 billion of that. This is one of the most spectacular destructions of shareholder value in recent years!

The CEO in charge of that acquisition left in 2018 with a $10 million severance package. Mr Calandra was not part of that acquisition, having joined in December 2016.

SEC filing – Tailored Brands CFO to depart



Another Oilfield Services CFO steps down

Lyle Wiliams has been appointed CFO of Forum Energy Technologies, replacing Pablo Mercado, who has resigned.

[UPDATE 7-13-20 Mercado has been appointed the new CFO at Dallas-based Enlink Midstream].

Forum is based in NW Houston. It manufactures equipment servicing drilling and downhole, completions and production. The company currently has a market cap of $59 million and a share price of 51 cents.

At the end of March the company had $389 million of unsecured notes due in October 2021 and a $55 million credit facility due in July 2021. The company has since bought back $70 million of these notes for 38.5 cents on the dollar.

Mr Williams joined the company in 2007 from Cameron International (now part of Schlumberger) and has held various operational and financial roles. Most recently he was the Senior VP of Operations. No new compensation has been finalized.

Mr Mercado had been the CFO since February 2018. He joined the company in 2011 and was previously at Credit Suisse.

The company press release and the SEC filing didn’t spell out the financial terms of his departure. However, assuming that Mr Mercado will receive a severance, he is in line to receive a cash payment of $1.4 million dollars (2 times base salary of $410,000 plus 2 times target bonus of $307,500). [Update – it is clear now that Mr Mercado resigned to take the position at Enlink, so there will be no severance]

Mr Mercado’s predecessor, Jim Harris, recently stepped down as the CFO of Pacific Drilling.

SEC Filing – Forum Energy CFO change



CFO of Drilling Contractor resigns after less than a year

Jim Harris, CFO of Pacific Drilling, has resigned, effective September 14, 2020. No reason was given for his departure and no new CFO has yet been appointed.

Pacific Drilling operates seven deepwater drill ships, though only four are under contract. Technically, it has its corporate offices in Luxembourg, however its operational headquarters are in west Houston.

The company filed for bankruptcy in November 2017. It emerged from Chapter 11 a year later and its shares were relisted on the NYSE in December 2018.

The company currently has $1.1 billion of gross debt, however no principal payments are due until 20123. It has $280 million of cash on hand, though it burned through $50 million in the first quarter of 2020. It currently has a market capitalization of $47 million.

Mr Harris was only appointed CFO in July 2019. He replaced John Boots who had been promoted to CFO in August 2017. Prior to joining Pacific, Mr Harris was the CFO of Forum Energy Technologies between 2005 and 2018.

SEC filing – Pacific Drilling Harris resignation



Weatherford CFO resigns after 6 months

Christian Garcia, the CFO of Weatherford International, has resigned. He will leave the company in early August after they have filed the second quarter report. The company will announce a successor at a later date.

Just a few days ago, Mr Garcia was named, along with COO Karl Blanchard as co-interim CEOs following the sudden departure of CEO Mark McCollum. Mr Garcia steps down from the office of the CEO role with immediate effect.

Mr Garcia only became the CFO in January. There’s no reason given for his departure, but it appears to be a personal decision he made. However he was close to Mr McCollum. Mr Garcia replaced Mr McCollum as Halliburton’s CFO during Halliburton’s proposed merger with Baker Hughes (2015-2016).

When Mr Garcia joined Weatherford, he received a sign-on bonus of $500,000. Under the terms of his employment contract, he will have to repay this.

Mr Garcia replaced Christoph Bausch as CFO. When Mr Bausch left in December 2019, he received termination pay of $3.6 million. Adding in Mr Bausch’s retention bonus and quarterly cash bonuses, he received $7.7 million in total cash payments in 2019.

Interim CEO

Karl Blanchard, interim CEO, will get an increased salary while performing those duties. As COO, he was making $700,000 a year. This was temporarily reduced by 20% due to the downturn caused by COVID-19. As interim CEO, his salary has been increased back up to $700,000. In addition he is eligible for monthly cash bonus payments of $370,296.

Non-Execs resign

It’s been a rough few days for Weatherford. In addition to the turmoil in the executive suites, three non-exec directors, who were nominated for re-election to the board, had to resign after failing to obtain the necessary votes at the Annual General Meeting of shareholders. This followed a campaign by an activist investor.

In addition to announcing the departure of Mr Garcia, Weatherford announced the appointment of a new non-exec director, Benjamin Duster. He serves on a number of boards as a non-exec director and is a corporate governance expert specializing in companies going through reorganizations.

SEC filing – Weatherford CFO resigns

Oilfield Services company appoints new CFO

Key Energy Services has appointed Nelson Haight as its new CFO. He replaces Marshall Dodson, who became the interim CEO after Robert Saltiel left in December 2019 with a $2.5 million severance, just ahead of an out-of-court restructuring plan. Mr Dodson was made permanent in March 2020.

Key operates the largest well service rig fleet in the US. It also provides fishing and rental tools, coiled tubing and fluid management services. It is based in downtown Houston.

In late January, the company converted $242 million of debt into 97% of newly-issued equity. Its shares were delisted from NYSE and now trade over the counter.

Mr Haight has been serving as a consultant providing financial and accounting services to companies in the energy industry, Between January 2014 and July 2017, he was the CFO at Tulsa-based Midstates Petroleum, a publicly-traded E&P company.  Midstates was in a pre-packaged bankruptcy reorganization between April and October 2016. The company later merged with Houston-based Amplify Energy in Aug 2019.

Mr Haight will receive a base salary of $375,000 (though it will be temporarily reduced by 10% due to current conditions).

SEC filing – Key Energy CFO

CFO steps down at Houston distributor

Chris Micklas, the CFO of Houston Wire and Cable, has resigned, effective July 10, to join a start-up business in another industry.

Houston Wire is a distributor of electrical and mechanical wire and cable with revenues of $340 million. Approximately a third of its revenues come from the energy sector. It has a market capitalization of $46 million. The company has its head office near the 610/I-10 interchange on the east side.

Mr Micklas joined the company in April 2018 and was previously the CFO at Par Pacific Holdings, another Houston public company that is involved in refining. He also worked for the LNG business of BG Group (now part of Shell).

Eric Davis has been appointed the interim CFO. He joined the company in 1993 and spent 14 years as the Controller of the company. He is currently the President of the Heavy Lift division.

SEC filing – Micklas resignation




Oilfield Supply company appoints new CFO

DistributionNOW has appointed CFO Dave Cherechinsky as its new CEO, replacing board member, Dick Alario, who has been the interim CEO since November 2019.

In turn, the company has promoted Mark Johnson to be the new CFO. He is currently the Chief Accounting Officer.

The company is a worldwide supplier of energy and industrial products and engineered equipment solutions. It has 3,075 employees in 210 locations in 20 countries. It was spun off from National Oilwell Varco in 2014. It has its head office in NW Houston.

Former CEO Robert Workman left in November 2019 with a $3.0 million cash severance and accelerated vesting of common stock, valued at $4.4 million. He had been the CEO since the spin-off. The share price at spin-off was $32.  When he left it was $11.40. It is now $7.63.

Mr Cherechinsky has been the CFO since February 2018. He joined NOV in 1989 and was appointed the VP Finance for its distribution arm in 2003. In his new role, he will have a base salary of $650,000.

Mr Johnson joined NOV in 2008 and became the Chief Accounting Officer in February 2018. His new salary will be $385,000.

The company also announced the retirement of Daniel Molinaro. He worked at the company or its predecessors for 52 years. Mr Molinaro was the CFO for four years prior to Mr Cherechinsky. He started work with the Oilwell division of US Steel in 1968. That division was merged with the oilfield division of Armco, another steel company, in 1987 to form National Oilwell. The business went public in 1996 and merged with Varco in 2005.

SEC filing – DNOW CFO appointment

CFO to step down at Houston auto dealership group

John Rickel, CFO of Group 1 Automotive, has announced that he step down from his role in August and retire by the end of the year. Daniel McHenry, currently the CFO of the UK subsidiary, has been appointed as the new CFO.

Group 1, which has its head office in the Memorial City area, has 119 dealerships in the 15 US states, 50 in the UK and 17 in Brazil. The company furloughed 4,800 US and 2,800 UK employees in response to the downturn caused by COVID-19.  In its earnings call in early May,  the company said it expected to bring back 500 US employees by the beginning of June.

Mr Rickel has been CFO for almost 15 years and worked at Ford for 21 years prior to that. His time-based restricted stock awards will fully vest on the second anniversary of his retirement.  At the end of December 2019, Mr Rickel had 38,322 unvested shares. At that time they were worth $3.8 million. They are down to $2.5 million at today’s stock price.

Mr Rickel won’t receive a severance payment or 2020 bonus and his performance-based equity awards will be forfeited.

Mr McHenry was born in Northern Ireland and joined Group 1 in 2007 as part of the acquisition of Chandlers BMW in southern England. He will receive a base salary of $575,000 (temporarily reduced by 20% to $460,000) and will relocate to Houston.

SEC filing – Group 1 CFO appointment