April 8 SandRidge Energy Inc said it
named a new chief operating officer and hired a law firm to
investigate land deals by Chief Executive Tom Ward and his
family, a month after the oil and gas company ended a proxy
battle with activist hedge fund TPG-Axon Capital.
SandRidge agreed then to either terminate Ward or give
TPG-Axon-backed directors majority control of the company's
The board, which now has four TPG-Axon nominated directors,
has also taken steps to reduce costs by selling aircraft and
cutting down on advertising and sponsorships.
SandRidge said on Monday it promoted David Lawler,
previously an executive vice president of operations at the
company, to chief operating officer, replacing Matthew Grubb,
who resigned at the same time as SandRidge's settlement with the
SandRidge has been under fire from activist shareholders
since last year for strategic missteps and governance lapses,
mostly surrounding the Ward family land deals in Kansas and
The company said it hired law firm Mayer Brown LLP to review
the allegations against the CEO. SandRidge is looking to
complete the review by June 15, the company said.
SandRidge has until June 30 to decide whether to fire Ward.
The company said the reconstituted board is looking at cost
cuts, including reductions in the company's rig count and
general and administrative expenses. It is also looking at
possible asset sales.
The new board has also hired independent compensation
consultant Frederick W. Cool & Co. to review SandRidge's
Ward has been paid more than $116 million as CEO since 2007.
Between 2007 and 2011, Ward made more than $7 million more than
the two men who served as CEO of Chevron, a company more than 90
times the current size of SandRidge by market capitalization.