Mr. Box (age 66) has served on the Magnum Hunter Board of Directors since March 1999. He is the former President and Chief Operating officer of Oryx Energy Company and has over 36 years of experience in the exploration and production industry as an explorationist and senior executive. Mr. Box attended Louisiana Tech University, where he received B.S. and M.S. degrees in geology, and is also a graduate of the Program for Management Development at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration. He is a former member of the policy committee of the U.S. Department of Interior's Outer Continental Shelf Advisory Board, past Chairman and Vice Chairman of the American Petroleum Institute's Exploration Affairs subcommittee, former member of the National Ocean Industries Association Board of Directors, past Vice President and Board member of the Dallas Museum of Natural History, and a former President of the Dallas Petroleum Club. Mr. Box served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force from 1961 to 1966. A resident of Dallas, Texas, Mr. Box currently serves as a Director of Newpark Resources, Inc., an oilfield service company traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Mr. Evans also announced today, after having founded the Company in June 1985 and with almost 20 years of continuous service, he intends to retire as President and Chief Executive Officer of Magnum Hunter in April 2005. Mr. Evans plans to remain on the Magnum Hunter Board after his retirement. The election of Mr. Box as Chairman by the Board of Directors at this time provides senior executive continuity during and after Mr. Evans' six month transition period. The Board of Directors anticipates retaining an executive search firm to advise the Company regarding a possible successor to Mr. Evans.
Additionally, Magnum Hunter announced that the Company is in the process of engaging a financial advisor(s) to counsel the Board and Special Committee on all possible strategic alternatives available for the ultimate enhancement of shareholder value.
Commenting on today's announcements, Mr. Jerry Box, Chairman of the Board stated, "Magnum Hunter has never been on more solid footing, both financially and operationally, than it is today. After founding the Company nearly 20 years ago, then successfully leading Magnum Hunter's growth in the intervening years, the Board nevertheless respects Gary Evans' decision to retire next year. However, we are grateful for his decision to remain a Director of the Company and to provide for a six month transition period. The Board and management team is absolutely committed to building, enhancing and maximizing shareholder value and will take whatever steps necessary to ensure that all possible alternatives regarding Magnum Hunter's strategic future will be investigated thoroughly. Toward this goal, the Board has elected me Chairman and charged me with responsibility for managing and implementing this process."
Commenting on the announcement today, Mr. Gary C. Evans, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, stated, "Magnum Hunter has now grown to over one trillion cubic feet of proven reserves and over one billion in market capitalization. We hold a significant amount of drilling inventory both onshore and offshore, covering almost 10 million acres of minerals. With commodity prices reaching record highs and the forward strip at unprecedented levels, our Board of Directors believes now is the appropriate time to seek "strategic alternatives" to maximize this asset value. After spending almost 20 years with this Company as its founder, I have reached a point in my life where I desire a change. I wish to spend more time with my wife and teenage children before they leave our family nest. With my decision now to retire sometime over the next six months, my available time will then be free to pursue these most important endeavors. I look forward to working more closely with Jerry Box in seeking the best route for the future of Magnum Hunter, its employees, and our shareholders."
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