SandRidge Names Operating Chief, Hires Law Firm to Review Charges

SandRidge Energy Inc. said it has named David C. Lawler as its chief operating officer, as the oil-and-gas producer highlighted moves it has made as part of a strategic review.

"Dave has been an invaluable member of the executive team over the last two years," President and Chief Financial Officer James D. Bennett said. "His leadership and rigorous focus on returns have been critical to our success in the Mississippian play."

Among the actions it listed as part of the review were the hiring of a law firm to review shareholder allegations relating to transactions in oil and gas properties in the Mississippian play by Chief Executive Tom L. Ward and entities affiliated with members of his family.

Last month, SandRidge agreed to fire Mr. Ward or give control of its board to TPG-Axon, settling a closely watched proxy battle amid an outbreak of investor unrest in the oil patch. SandRidge, an oil-and-gas producer with a stock-market value of about $2.45 billion, immediately appointed to its board four directors who were nominated by TPG-Axon, which owns 7.3% of its shares.

SandRidge, which is based in Oklahoma City, Okla., said it would review its strategy, costs and certain transactions with entities controlled by relatives of Mr. Ward. The company also cut directors' annual pay to $250,000 from $375,000.

At the time, SandRidge also said Matthew Grubb, its president and chief operating officer, would resign, a departure it billed as a separate development.

In November, TPG-Axon took aim at SandRidge, pointing to its poor stock performance and rich executive pay. It also demanded the ouster of Mr. Ward, who founded the company in 2006.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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