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Pioneer Natural slashes workforce by 25%; Avangrid unveils 4 director nominees

S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a weekly rundown of recent executive management, board and regulatory changes in the energy industry. The moves are listed by sector in reverse chronological order.


* Duke Energy Corp. on May 23 announced the appointment of Bonnie Titone as chief information officer, effective June 19. Titone most recently served as vice president of information business technology at PG&E Corp.

* The Spark Energy Inc. board on May 22 appointed CEO Nathan Kroeker as interim CFO, according to a Form 8-K. The company is searching for a permanent replacement for Robert Lane, who resigned as CFO, effective May 21.

* Avangrid Inc. has nominated four new director candidates for election at its annual meeting on June 27 to diversify its board. These nominees are Robert Duffy, president and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce; Teresa Herbert, CFO and senior vice president of Independence Holding Co.; Patricia Jacobs, president of AT&T New England; and Sonsoles Rubio Reinoso, internal audit director of Iberdrola SA.

* FirstEnergy Corp. promoted Human Resources Vice President Christine Walker to senior vice president and chief human resources officer, effective July 1. Walker will be replacing Charles Lasky, who is retiring. Tracy Ashton was appointed assistant controller, corporate, effective May 26. Ashton most recently served as director of business planning and performance.

* Denise Danner is retiring from her position of vice president, controller and chief accounting officer at Pinnacle West Capital Corp. and Arizona Public Service Co., effective July 19, according to a May 21 SEC filing.

* TransAlta Corp. on May 17 named Todd Stack as CFO of the company, effective immediately. He replaces Christophe Dehout, who will leave the company to pursue other opportunities, according to a company news release.

Oil and gas utility/midstream

* Magellan Midstream Partners LP appointed Chansoo Joung as an independent member of its board of directors, effective immediately. Joung is also a board member at oil and gas producer Apache Corp., serving as chairperson of the audit committee and as a member of the corporate governance and nominating committees.

* Onshore exploration and production company Eon NRG Ltd. said May 23 that the company has named Matthew McCann chairman of the board. McCann has served on Eon NRG's board since 2014.

* EnLink Midstream LLC named Justin Griffin senior vice president of business and corporate development, in charge of the company's strategic growth plan, new project developments and mergers and acquisitions. Griffin most recently served as vice president of business development at the company.

* Hi-Crush Partners LP appointed Michael Alan Oehlert as COO, effective May 21. As a result, Robert Rasmus will no longer serve as principal operating officer but will retain his role as chairman and CEO of the partnership.

* Pioneer Natural Resources Co. said it had laid off about 25% of its workforce as it moves to cut $100 million in costs "to remain competitive with [its] peers," Reuters reported, citing a company statement. The oil and gas producer cut 300 employees in April and another 230 workers this week at its headquarters in Irving, Texas, and in its Permian Basin offices.

* Martin Midstream Partners LP on May 21 announced the retirement of Vice President of Fertilizer Ron Garner, effective May 31. Garner was promoted to vice president of fertilizer in 1998 when Martin Midstream was still operating as Martin Resource Management Corp.

* Adams Resources & Energy Inc. named John Niemann Jr. a member of its board of directors, effective May 20. Niemann will also serve on the board's audit and compensation committees.

* Gulfport Energy Corp. on May 20 said it named Patrick Craine general counsel and corporate secretary. Craine previously served as deputy general counsel - chief risk and compliance officer at Chesapeake Energy Corp.

* Japanese oil company Inpex Corp. implemented organizational changes establishing two new corporate divisions, reorganizing the overseas regional project divisions and the technical division, and making its legal unit a standalone unit that directly reports to the president and CEO. The two new divisions are the new ventures and global exploration division, which will be in charge of oil and gas exploration and M&A capabilities, and the strategic projects office, which will provide counsel on key projects and support project management and execution.