Major Shakeup: PentaNova Energy Appoints New President, CEO, and Chairman in Sweeping Management Overhaul
The president, chief executive officer, and Argentina country head of PentaNova Energy Corp. have all resigned in a wholesale change for the Vancouver-based hydrocarbon company.
Gregg Vernon has resigned as president, Luciano Biondi has resigned as CEO, and Warren Levy has resigned as president of operations in Argentina, PentaNova said in a statement. Serafino Iacono has also stepped down as executive chairman, though he will remain an independent director. Blondi will say on as a consultant, said the firm.
The new CEO, Ralph Gillcrist, has already been appointed and will also join the board of directors. Other new appointments also include Alan Aitchison as chief operating officer and Rafael Orunesu as both vice president of business development and Argentina country manager.
Jeffrey Scott, founder of Gran Tierra Energy, has been appointed as non-executive chairman. PentaNova stated that he “has a long-established relationship with the new management team.”
PentaNova, which maintains at least three gas exploration holdings in Colombia, stated that it will issue 4.8 million common shares to the new management team “as the inducement to join the company.” The shares will vest over three years.
“The company further announces an aggregate grant of eight million options,” said PentaNova, “with a vesting period of three years to the management group which will consist of the current options available for grant and phantom options at $0.36 per share for 10 years.”
Gillcrist has nearly three decades of experience in the oil and gas world, previously serving as CEO of Petroamerica Oil Corp. and an independent director at Madalena Energy Inc.
Aitchison has spent much of his 30 years of work experience in Latin America, including his role as COO and country head for Colombia at PetroGranada and some 10 years working at Schlumberger. Orunesu co-founded Gran Tierra and oversaw operations in both Peru and Argentina in addition to his role as vice president for Latin America.
“PentaNova is investing in proven leadership to develop oil and natural gas fields it has acquired in areas surrounding some of the key energy producing areas in Colombia and Argentina,” said the company. “With significant experience in Latin America and global energy development, PentaNova’s leadership is working with local partners and service providers, including YPF, Argentina’s respected energy producer, to deliver the energy for Latin America’s future.”