Devon to lay off 300 workers: This week’s people news

Devon Energy's headquarters in Oklahoma City. Image: Devon Energy

Here is a list of human resources highlights as appeared in the Daily Oil Bulletin for the week ending April 13, 2018:

Crescent Point fights back on Cation’s board nomination push

Crescent Point Energy Corp. is fighting a move by private investment firm Cation Capital Inc. to nominate four candidates to the company’s board at an annual general meeting scheduled for May 4.

The firm announced that it delivered a letter to Crescent Point’s board of directors, along with advance notice that it intends to nominate four “highly qualified, independent candidates” for election to the board.

Crescent Point publicly responded shortly after Cation’s press release was issued, saying it “respects and values constructive input from our shareholders and is committed to considering all of their views, but Cation seems intent on disrupting the company’s progress with a self-interested effort to achieve short-term benefits.”

The company noted that Cation, which was incorporated on March 29 with its sole director being Sandy Edmonstone, delayed providing notice of its four nominees until the day before the deadline for nominating directors expired under the Crescent Point’s advance notice bylaw.

Cation nominees include Dallas Howe, a former chairman of the board of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc., Herbert Pinder, a director of ARC Resources Ltd., and Thomas Budd, president of Focus Advisory Corp. and an independent businessman.

New ASC members appointed

The lieutenant governor in council has appointed Steven Cohen and Raymond Crossley as Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) members, each for a three-year term expiring on March 31, 2021.

Cohen has more than 35 years of experience in the legal profession. He is currently a partner in the securities group at Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP. Crossley is an experienced financial professional and corporate director. He is currently the chief financial officer of the Calgary Health Trust, and also serves on the board of directors of Obsidian Energy Ltd. and the Canada West Foundation.

In addition to the new member appointments, Kathryn Chisholm was re-appointed as a commission member for a three-year term expiring on March 31, 2021, and Ann Rooney was re-appointed to the lead independent member role for another year, expiring on March 31, 2019.

Cequence CFO resigns

Cequence Energy Ltd. has announced that David Gillis, executive vice-president and chief financial officer, has resigned his positions to pursue other opportunities. Donald Archibald will assume the role of executive chairman, and Howard Crone will assume the role of executive vice-president and interim CFO.

As part of the executive team, Archibald and Crone will keep working with management and the board towards identifying and pursuing various strategic alternatives to benefit the company and its stakeholders, including, but not limited to, sale of the company, sale of assets, as well as refinancing of $60 million of unsecured notes held by CPPIB.

Enerflex names Marc Rossiter as COO

Enerflex Ltd. has appointed Marc Rossiter as the company’s new executive vice-president and chief operating officer, effective May 1.

With 21-plus years of experience at Enerflex in a progression of roles, Rossiter brings an entrepreneurial mindset with a depth of leadership that will be essential in the company’s continued success.

Devon to lay off nine per cent of staff

Devon Energy Corporation says it will lay off 300 workers, roughly nine per cent of staff, as part of a plan to streamline operations and boost the shale oil producer’s sagging returns and stock price.

The cuts will impact all areas of operations, not just its Oklahoma City headquarters. Staff will be laid off “in the weeks ahead,” Devon stated.

The company did not release details on any possible Canadian workforce reductions.

Shares of Devon jumped nearly seven per cent on the day of the announcement (April 10) to close at $33.60 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock had been up about five per cent earlier in the day, in line with broader markets and oil prices, but kept rising after the layoffs were announced.

Relentless building cannabis team

Relentless Resources Ltd. has appointed four new officers, including Stanley Swiatekas as chief executive officer, Craig Kolochuk as president, Tara Johnson-Ouellette as vice-president, compliance and regulatory affairs, and Jeff Swainson as chief financial officer.

Swiatek is the former CEO and a current member of the board of directors of Sundial Growers. Swiatek was an early applicant (78th) under Health Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations.

In December of last year, Swiatek joined the board of directors of Grunewahl Organics, a pre-licensed Health Canada Applicant. In March 2018, Swaitek joined the board of directors of Relentless. He replaces Dan Wilson as CEO. Wilson will continue as board chairman and has been appointed as VP of oil and gas operations.

Kolochuk has 20 years of Canadian oil and gas industry experience, holding roles in land, business development, acquisitions and divestitures, and management. He was a co-founder of Cardinal Energy Ltd.

Johnson-Ouellette has 20 years of experience in regulatory and compliance, project execution, and business process management.

Swainson has 10 years of experience in public company accounting, finance, business development and capital markets. He replaces Hugh Thomson as CFO. Thomson was appointed VP of finance for oil and gas operations.