MegaWest has reorganized to strengthen its financial flexibility and to extend the time available for the company to benefit from future improvements to current market conditions.
Mr. George T. Stapleton, II has resigned as CEO but will continue as Chairman of the Board and in this capacity will remain active in the Company without cash compensation. This change has been motivated primarily by Mr. Stapleton's desire to demonstrate his commitment to necessary cost reductions in these very difficult economic times.
R. William (Bill) Thornton will assume the role of President and CEO (formerly President and COO) and will continue to lead the Company's ongoing evaluation of restart options for its two production ready projects in Missouri as well as its drill ready prospects at its other projects. These investigations will include strategic partnerships, alternative technologies and the potential sale or farm out of certain assets to fund other opportunities. When market conditions improve, these options will expand to include raising equity or project financing.
Mr. Kelly Sledz has resigned as VP Finance to pursue other opportunities. Mr. Farid Naghiyev has been promoted to Finance Manager and Controller and will oversee all financial and accounting functions for the Company. Mr. Naghiyev has been with the Company in the position of Controller and is fully familiar with the operations and reporting of the Company.
In addition to these changes at the executive level, the Company has significantly reduced its overall staffing level. Compared to December 1, 2008, the Company has reduced overall staffing by 71% and corresponding salaries by 63%. The Company has retained only a core staff of personnel to ensure continuity and the capacity to restart the projects in Missouri which were shut-in during December (see December 31 News Release).
The Company expects that the latter half of 2009 will bring a return to more predictable financial markets and a strengthening oil price such that the real value in MegaWest's projects can begin to be realized. MegaWest is taking and will take every opportunity to ensure that the Company emerges from these trying times in a position to capitalize on the capability of its personnel and the quality of its heavy oil properties.
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