SandRidge CEO James Bennett leaves abruptly

  • After about five years in the position
  • Thanks for Bennett
  • Bill Griffin taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, February 8, 2018 — James Bennett, chief executive of SandRidge, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by SandRidge Energy, Inc. in a news release on Thursday, February 8, 2018, James D. Bennett, Chief Executive Officer, leaves the petroleum and natural gas exploration company after about five years in the position, effective immediately.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months was 9.3 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

SandRidge will undertake a search for a successor.

Bennett’s duties will be taken over in the interim by Bill Griffin, a former President and CEO of Petro Harvester Oil & Gas.

Already a director

Griffin is already a director of SandRidge. Often a board member is a last resort, someone who is turned to in desperation when a company cannot find suitable candidates. On the other hand, directors-turned-executives represent a blend of outsider and insider.

They don’t have the constraints of a pure insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions, and they have more company knowledge than a pure outsider.

Having been a director, Griffin understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of SandRidge’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

Bennett’s move is part of a management shake-up also involving the position of Chief Financial Officer.

“In light of our new strategic direction”

The management change is explained as follows. SandRidge said in a fairly blunt statement: “The independent directors of SandRidge Energy, Inc. … today announced that, in light of our new strategic direction, discussions with large shareholders and robust deliberation among the independent members of the Board, now is the right time to begin transitioning to a new leadership team.”

Precise information about Bennett’s future plans was not immediately available.

“Depart from the Company”

SandRidge said: “James Bennett, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, will depart from the Company, effective February 8, 2018.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of SandRidge Energy, Inc. since October 2016.

Chaired by John V. Genova

SandRidge Energy, Inc. is chaired by John V. Genova.

In the position of CEO since 2013

Bennett has been the President of SandRidge Energy, Inc. since March 2013 and as its Chief Executive Officer since June 19, 2013.

Bennett was promoted to Chief Executive Officer and President in June 2013.

Prior to that he served as President and Chief Financial Officer since March 2013 and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since January 2011.

From 2010 until he joined the Company, he was Managing Director for White Deer Energy, a private equity fund focused on the exploration and production, oilfield service and equipment, and midstream sectors of the oil and gas industry.

From 2006 to December 2009, Bennett was employed by GSO Capital Partners L.P. where he served in various capacities, including as its Managing Director.

Bennett graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in Finance from Texas Tech University in 1993.

Bennett has served on the board of directors of the general partner of Cheniere Energy Partners L.P. and PostRock Energy Corporation.

Read the full story in the exechange report 7.2018 ($).