EP Energy CEO Brent Smolik leaves

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • Thanks for Smolik
  • Russell Parker taking over
  • Smolik spoke at length and said 71 words

(exechange) — Houston, Texas, November 01, 2017 — Brent Smolik, chief executive of EP Energy, leaves. As announced by EP Energy Corporation in a news release on Wednesday, November 01, 2017, Brent J. Smolik leaves the post as chief executive officer at the independent exploration and production company.

Effective November 01, 2017, Brent Smolik will begin transitioning his responsibilities and then depart the organization.

Smolik’s duties are taken over by Russell Parker, most recently chief executive officer at Phoenix Natural Resources, LLC.

The fact that Smolik’s successor is brought in from outside suggests that the board may seek to stimulate change with fresh ideas and new initiatives.

In general, an outsider does not have the constraints of an insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions.

Management shake-up

Smolik’s move is part of a management shake-up.

Effective November 01, 2017, several other officers including Clay Carrell – EVP and COO, Joan Gallagher – SVP, HR & Administrative Services, and Marguerite Woung-Chapman – SVP and General Counsel will begin transitioning their respective responsibilities to new management team members and then depart the organization.

Effective November 2, 2017, the Board of Directors has appointed Alan Crain as Chairman of the Board of EP Energy.

“Reviewing 2018 capital allocation options and refining the overall long-term strategy”

A reason for Smolik’s departure from the post of CEO was not explicitly given. EP Energy said: “These key changes are an initial step in moving from an asset-based to a function-based organization. This new structure will enable greater flexibility in allocating capital and resources to specific assets, while continuing the company’s focus on cost reduction. During the transition, the team will finalize comprehensive plans for moving to a function-based organizational structure, while reviewing 2018 capital allocation options and refining the overall long-term strategy.”

“EP Energy, will continue to operate safely and efficiently while moving expeditiously through the transition,” EP Energy said.

Precise information about the future plans of Smolik was not immediately available.

Share price decline

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

Apollo holds 44.14 percent stake

Apollo Management Holdings, L.P. reported a 44.14 percent stake in EP Energy Corporation as of June 29, 2017. Apollo is a private equity firm.

Smolik has been President, CEO and Chairman since 2013

Smolik has been the Company’s President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board since August 30, 2013, President and Chief Executive Officer of EP Energy LLC since May 2012 and previously served as Chairman of the Board of Managers of EPE Acquisition, LLC, from May 2012 to August 2013.

He was previously Executive Vice President and a member of the Executive Committee of El Paso Corporation and President of the Company’s predecessor, EP Energy Corporation (a/k/a El Paso Exploration & Production Company) from November 2006 to May 2012.

Smolik was President of ConocoPhillips Canada from April 2006 to October 2006.

Prior to the Burlington Resources merger with ConocoPhillips, he was President of Burlington Resources Canada from September 2004 to March 2006.

From 1990 to 2004, Smolik worked in various engineering and asset management capacities for Burlington Resources Inc., including the Chief Engineering role from 2000 to 2004.

Smolik currently serves as a director of the American Exploration and Production Council.

He previously served on the boards of directors of Cameron International Corporation, America’s Natural Gas Alliance, and the Independent Petroleum Association of America.

Smolik received his Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University.

As the President and Chief Executive Officer of EP Energy, Smolik is the only officer of the company to sit on the board.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Brent Smolik’s move.

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 45.2017 ($).