Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Connacher CEO Gusella Exits Company Week after Three Other Executives Leave: Connacher Oil and Gas CEO Exits Company

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Connacher CEO Gusella Exits Company Week after Three Other Executives Leave: Connacher Oil and Gas CEO Exits Company

Article excerpt

CALGARY - Connacher Oil and Gas Ltd.'s CEO is leaving the company just a week after he said the exit of three other top executives would usher in positive changes at the troubled energy company.

While Connacher didn't provide a reason for Dick Gusella's abrupt departure Thursday, investors welcomed the move, pushing up the company's stock price nearly eight per cent on hopes the company may eventually be taken over.

Gusella had opposed recent shareholder demands to sell the company, which has oilsands, conventional oil and refinery businesses in Canada and the United States.

"With his departure today, I think the perception is that it really puts the for sale sign on the company," d CIBC World Markets analyst Andrew Potter said in an interview.

Investors have been unsettled by recent moves by the company, from rejecting an unsolicited takeover bid and cancelling a hunt for a joint-venture partner to plans to ramp up spending.

On Jan. 4, Connacher announced president chief operating officer Peter Sametz, vice-president and chief financial officer Richard Kines and vice president of corporate development Grant Ukrainetz had parted ways with the company.

"It was felt to be in the best interest of the corporation to make a change, a catalytic change for better, and I think that's the ultimate outcome of this,'' Gusella said in an interview at the time.

Gusella had said he'd be taking on the COO and corporate development roles until replacements could be found, while assistant corporate secretary Brenda Hughes was appointed CFO.

Shares of the company dropped 12 per cent on the day Gusella announced the changes, though its price has since recovered.

Around mid-day Thursday, the stock was up 7.5 per cent to $1 on the TSX.

Connacher said Thursday it has shifted two directors to handle daily operations of the company in the interim, serving as co-managing directors.

Colin Evans is the president of oil and gas consulting firm Evans & Co. Inc. while Kelly Ogle is the president and CEO of Trafina Energy Ltd. (TSX:TFA.A).

The widespread changes in Connacher's executive offices come less than a month after the firm rejected an unsolicited takeover offer from an unnamed company. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.