Help Wanted: New CEO for SandRidge Energy

Drilling rig
Drilling rig

Late yesterday afternoon, the board of directors of SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE: SD) essentially caved in to demands from TPG-Axon Group and agreed to add four new directors named by the hedge fund to the SandRidge board effective immediately. The company's current CEO, Tom Ward, will be retained until June 30, at which time he will either be fired or another TPG-Axon director will be appointed to the board, giving the hedge fund control of the board. It probably goes without saying that Ward will not stay on.

TPG-Axon and Mount Kellett Capital Management launched their attack on SandRidge last November, charging that the company had allowed Ward to participate in land acquisitions and sales through other companies that he either controlled or had an interest in. The SandRidge board said it had investigated the allegations many times in the company's past and found no wrongdoing.

That is what the board of Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) said about the well participation program that it allowed CEO Aubrey McClendon to take advantage of. That did not work out too well for McClendon, who officially steps down on April Fool's Day. Board support was not enough for Ward either.

In exchange for Ward's ouster and the four board seats, TPG-Axon has agreed to terminate its consent solicitation and withdraw its notice of intent to nominate a slate of candidates at SandRidge's next annual shareholders meeting.

SandRidge shares spiked in the late afternoon yesterday, but closed the day within pennies of where they started. The shares are down about 0.2% in the premarket this morning at $5.84 in a 52-week range of $4.81 to $8.57.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Commodities, Corporate Governance, Management Change, Oil & Gas, Shareholder Issues Tagged: CHK, SD