Houston Based VAALCO Appoints New CEO

Houston Based VAALCO Appoints New CEO
VAALCO Energy, Inc. (NYSE, LSE: EGY) has announced that its board of directors has named George Maxwell as the company's new chief executive officer.

VAALCO Energy, Inc. (NYSE, LSE: EGY) has announced that its board of directors has named George Maxwell as the company’s new chief executive officer, effective April 12.

Maxwell, who has been a non-executive director of the company since June 2020 and resides in the UK, will continue to serve as a member of the board, the company noted. Cary Bounds, who served as the company’s chief executive officer since 2016, will leave VAALCO “to pursue other interests”, the company said.

Maxwell has over 25 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. He founded Eland Oil & Gas plc in 2009 and served as the company’s chief executive officer from September 2014 to December 2019, when the company was acquired by Seplat Petroleum Development Company plc for a value in excess of $500 million. Prior to founding Eland, Maxwell served as the business development manager for Addax Petroleum and worked with ABB Oil & Gas as the company’s vice president of finance.

VAALCO’s stated goal is to continue to be one of the leading independent exploration and production companies in West Africa, with a strategy of achieving significant shareholder returns by maximizing the value of, and free cash flow from, its existing resources, coupled with highly accretive inorganic growth opportunities. The company said its board believes Maxwell’s recent achievement of founding, building, and selling a successful African energy company - as well as his significant experience serving in executive leadership positions, a proven track record in M&A and strong ties to the European, American, and African capital market communities - will complement and accelerate the company’s ability to achieve this strategy.

In addition to announcing its new CEO, VAALCO noted that it intends to open a business development office in London and appoint a permanent chief financial officer, who will be based in the new London office. Maxwell expects to split his time equally between Houston and London.

“We are excited to begin the next chapter of VAALCO’s 35 year history with our decision to increase our presence in the U.K. and international markets, a move that we believe will support VAALCO’s ambition to maximize shareholder returns,” Andrew Fawthrop, VAALCO’s chairman of the board, said in a company statement.

“We are very fortunate to have George Maxwell serve as our new CEO as he has significant experience serving in executive leadership positions, a proven track record in corporate and M&A activities, and strong ties to the London investment community. He has gotten to know our company well since joining our board in June of last year and can therefore ensure a smooth transition of leadership,” he added.

“He has provided invaluable insight and his knowledge of the international energy and capital markets have made him an important resource for us and we look forward to his leadership as our new CEO,” Fawthrop continued.

Commenting on his new role, Maxwell said, “I’m excited by this opportunity to build on a successful foundation and lead the existing teams to grow the company to the next level”.

“The positions we have in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea provide exciting development opportunities to enhance our business and provide a strong platform for investors,” he added.

“In this current and future market environment, I believe it is paramount that businesses are sustainable in order to provide benefits to all stakeholders, with a focus on growth and investor returns,” Maxwell continued.

Last month, VAALCO announced that its chief financial officer Elizabeth Prochnow, had elected to retire effective March 31. In January 2020, the company announced that William R. Thomas had been appointed President of VAALCO, effective February 1, 2020. Thomas had been serving as a non-executive director for VAALCO for the previous nine months.

Founded in 1985, VAALCO is a Houston based independent energy company with production, development, and exploration assets in the West African region.

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