Dennis Francis, Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and a founder of the Company, has informed the Board that he has elected to retire as CEO following his recent 70th birthday. Mr Francis will remain as a Non-Executive Director in the Company and has agreed to assist the Company on a consulting basis as required to ensure a smooth transition for his replacement and to assist in examining options to maximise shareholder value including the potential disposal of Licences 61 and 67.
Mr. Francis was a founder of PetroNeft in 2004 and has overseen its growth from a private Company to a public company listed on the London AIM and Dublin ESM exchanges. In that time period the Company has evolved from an explorer to an established production company employing over 170 people in the Tomsk Region of Russia. In 2016 Mr. Francis received a Certificate of honour from the Subsurface Management Department for the Tomsk Region (TomskNedra) for significant contributions to the development of mineral resources in the Tomsk Region.
The Board has initiated a search for a new CEO to succeed Mr Francis and has asked Karl Johnson, VP of Operations, to assume the position of interim CEO with immediate effect.
Dennis Francis, Chief Executive Officer of PetroNeft Resources plc, commented:
“The decision to retire is bittersweet as much of my life over the last 14 years has been devoted to developing the Company’s assets in the Tomsk Region. I have a great deal of respect for the Company’s employees and will miss working with them. Despite the challenges of recent years, I believe that the Company’s asset base retains significant potential for material discoveries and developments and as a shareholder I will be keenly focussed on events over the coming years. I would like to thank my colleagues, Board and shareholders for their support and encouragement throughout my time and sincerely wish my successor and the Company well in the future.”
G. David Golder, Chairman of the Board, commented:
“Dennis provided the vision, clear focus and hard work needed to establish and grow our company since its inception. He has guided us through both the successes and the challenges which are intrinsic in the oil and gas industry and has earned the respect of all for his integrity and strong convictions. We wish him and his family a long and happy retirement.”