EQT CEO Steve Schlotterbeck leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After about a year in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Schlotterbeck
  • Dave Porges taking over in the interim

(exechange) — Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, March 15, 2018 — Steve Schlotterbeck, chief executive of EQT, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by EQT Corporation in a news release on Thursday, March 15, 2018, Steven (Steve) Schlotterbeck leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the largest independent natural gas producer in the U.S. after about a year in the position, effective immediately.

No company wants a CEO to flame out in the first year.

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 9.2 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 10 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position within two years, and 20 percent left the position within three years.

Schlotterbeck’s duties will be taken over in the interim by David L. (Dave) Porges, a former Chief Executive Officer of EQT Corporation.

“Personal reasons”

Schlotterbeck’s sudden departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. EQT said: “Steven Schlotterbeck, President and Chief Executive Officer, has resigned from the Company for personal reasons and stepped down from the Board of Directors, effective immediately.”

In the announcement, the company did not detail the personal reasons causing Schlotterbeck to leave the position, leaving room for speculation. Generally speaking, “personal reasons” may include, among others, family-related reasons, health reasons or disagreement.

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

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CEO leaves the position abruptly and without a reasonable explanation.

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of EQT Corporation since June 2014.

Chaired by David L. Porges

EQT Corporation is chaired by David L. Porges.

Porges currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of EQT. Prior to such role, Porges served as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of EQT from March 2017 through February 2018.

In the position of CEO since 2017

Steve Schlotterbeck was appointed Chief Executive Officer of EQT Corporation in March 2017.

He was appointed President of EQT in 2015 and joined EQT’s board of directors in January 2017.

Schlotterbeck has also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the general partners of EQT Midstream Partners, LP and EQT GP Holdings, LP since March 2017, and the general partner of Rice Midstream Partners LP since November 2017.

In addition, Schlotterbeck served on the boards of directors of the general partners of EQT Midstream Partners, LP, EQT GP Holdings, LP and Rice Midstream Partners LP.

Schlotterbeck joined EQT Corporation in 2000 as Director, Engineering when the Company acquired Statoil’s northeast U.S. assets.

During the next few years he was promoted to various executive roles, including Managing Director of E&P Planning and Development, Executive and Senior Vice President of Production Management and Planning, and Vice President and Director of Engineering.

In 2008, when EQT’s business model began its transformation to focus on drilling, production, and midstream operations, Schlotterbeck became President of the Production business unit; and subsequently added the positions of Senior Vice President of EQT Corporation in 2010 and Executive Vice President in 2013.

Schlotterbeck has held various engineering and management positions throughout his career in the energy industry, which began in 1987 with Marathon Oil Company where he worked in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska.

In addition, he has worked for Eastern American Energy and Statoil.

Schlotterbeck holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University; and he is a member of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.

A Pennsylvania native, Schlotterbeck currently serves on the Advisory Board for Penn State Outreach, and the Board of Directors of the EQT Foundation.

In October 2012, he was awarded the Penn State University Outreach Fischer Award of Distinction for extraordinary service in advancing the outreach vision; and he is currently the voluntary chair of Outreach and Online Education for Penn State University’s capital campaign.

Schlotterbeck has also resigned his positions with EQT GP Holdings, LP (NYSE: EQGP), EQT Midstream Partners, LP (NYSE: EQM) and Rice Midstream Partners LP (NYSE: RMP).

At the time of his appointment as Chief Executive Officer at EQT, Schlotterbeck had said: “It is a great honor to succeed Dave as the CEO of EQT Corporation and I am humbled to be entrusted with the responsibility to lead this great organization forward. We have outstanding upstream and midstream assets; a strong financial position; dedicated leadership from our Board; and the continued commitment of the most talented employees in the industry – all contributing to EQT’s next phase of evolution, growth, and shareholder value creation.”

At the time of Schlotterbeck’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer at EQT, Dave Porges, then EQT’s Executive Chairman, had said: “This ‘changing of the guard’ represents a logical and natural leadership succession that is part of EQT’s overall strategy and plan for growth and innovation. Steve has a strong operational focus and I am confident in his abilities to effectively lead our organization through its next transformative chapter.”

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Steve Schlotterbeck’s sudden move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 12.2018 ($).