Sterling Resources has accepted Stewart Gibson's desire to step down from the role of CEO and is pleased to announce the appointment of Mike Azancot as the Company's next President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Gibson will remain a member of the Board of Directors and will provide advice to Mr. Azancot as he assumes the CEO role. The appointment will take effect May 27, 2010, following the Company's annual general meeting, subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange. Effective April 26, 2010, Mr. Azancot will join the Company as Executive Vice President.
Mike Azancot is a highly experienced and respected international oil and gas executive. During the past 30 years, he has held increasingly senior operational leadership and managerial positions in a number of companies, both public and private. Since 2006, he has served as founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lateral Resources Ltd., a company focused on the acquisition of international under-performing upstream businesses, as well as founder and Director of European Energy Assets SA, a downstream business acquisition venture. Beginning in 2000, Mr. Azancot served as the Senior Vice President, Exploration and Production, for Petrokazakhstan Inc. until the takeover of the company in 2005. Mr. Azancot holds a Masters Degree in Engineering and is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain (PESGB) and the Energy Institute.
Walter DeBoni, Chair of Sterling's Board of Directors stated, "We are delighted to have an individual of Mike's caliber join Sterling as our next President and Chief Executive Officer. His track record of adding value to major producing assets in previous senior positions will bring a new dimension to the Company as it moves into its next growth phase."
Mr. DeBoni also acknowledged Stewart Gibson's significant contribution to the growth of the Company. "On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank Stewart for his hard work, dedication and perseverance in taking Sterling's business plan from concept to reality. Over the past decade, he has taken the Company to a stage where significant value will be added for the shareholders as the discoveries progress to first production. I am pleased that Stewart will continue to serve on the Board of Directors, as well as assisting the new CEO in the Company's future endeavors," noted Mr. DeBoni.
"I am pleased to be afforded the opportunity to join and lead the dynamic team at Sterling," stated Mike Azancot. "Stewart and his team have done an excellent job of identifying and acting upon drilling opportunities in both the United Kingdom and Romania, and I look forward to executing the development process to take these wells forward to first production and to continue the growth of the company through exploitation of an excellent portfolio," added Mr. Azancot.
"Given the company is at a stage of preparing for a period of significant cash-flow, the timing is appropriate to pass over the reins associated with the position of CEO. I look forward to working with Mike as he assumes his new role as President and CEO of Sterling. Mike and the team will develop and execute upon a strategy that builds on Sterling's successes to date and that will continue to add value in the future," stated Stewart Gibson.
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