Knoxville New Sentinel
A leadership shake-up at a Knoxville oil-and-gas company took another step forward on Monday.
Miller Energy Resources said Monday that Carl F. Giesler has been named as Miller’s CEO and a member of the board.
Former CEO Scott Boruff has been named executive chairman of Miller, while former chairman Deloy Miller — the founder of the company and Boruff’s father-in-law — has retired and left the board. The company said A. Haag Sherman will join the board and take Deloy Miller’s seat.
Miller’s shares jumped 63 cents, or 14.4 percent, to $4.98, in morning trading.
Giesler is the former managing director of investments for Harbinger Group, a New York holding company that invests in sectors including energy assets; insurance and annuity products; and branded consumer products.
Boruff said in a news release that under Giesler’s leadership, Miller Energy will assess its capital deployment with a greater emphasis on returns to improve cash flow and liquidity.
“As we’ve noted quite a bit recently, we believe the value of our midstream infrastructure has not been fully reflected in the company’s share price,” Boruff said in the release. “Carl’s experience with (master limited partnerships) will help us explore options to maximize the value of and potentially monetize our substantial midstream infrastructure. While Carl will assume primary leadership responsibility, I’ll remain active in Miller’s strategic activity and help grow the value of my family’s substantial investment in the company.”
In August, Miller announced that its president, David Voyticky, had resigned. The company said at the time that Voyticky’s duties would be absorbed by other executives.
Executive compensation has been a controversial topic at Miller in recent months, with a group of dissident shareholders complaining in 2013 that the company’s compensation levels were excessive.
The company later reached a deal in which former U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson joined the board. At Miller’s annual meeting this year, five existing board members were not renominated, including Voyticky and chief operating officer David Hall.
Last year, Boruff’s salary was boosted from $500,000 to $795,000, while Voyticky’s base salary jumped from $475,000 to $750,000. The news release didn’t say how much Giesler will be paid, or how much Boruff will be paid in his new role.
Miller also announced Monday that it had entered a nonbinding letter of intent to buy substantially all the Alaskan operating assets of Buccaneer Energy for approximately $40 to $50 million.
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