The board for SandRidge Energy Inc. is moving forward with a strategic review of the company's operations and governance practices.
The review was part of last month's settlement with TPG-Axon Capital, a New York-based hedge fund that is one of SandRidge's largest shareholders. Four members were added to the company's board on TPG-Axon's behalf.
TPG-Axon, which has sought to oust the company's leadership, had criticized SandRidge for its spending as it shifted its asset base from natural gas to oil.
Board committees are reviewing SandRidge's executive compensation plan and searching for ways to cut costs. The company already has sold its planes and slashed its advertising and sponsorship spending.
The strategy and planning committee also is considering adjustments to SandRidge's capital and operating expenditures such as asset sales or a reduction in active drilling rigs.
Also, the audit committee has hired a law firm to investigate TPG-Axon's allegations against CEO Tom Ward. The hedge fund has questioned SandRidge's dealings with entities tied to its chief executive's family.
The committee expects to complete its review by June 15, about two weeks before the board is supposed to decide whether to terminate Ward.
TPG-Axon will gain a majority on the SandRidge board if Ward is not fired by June 30, according to the settlement reached last month to end a proxy fight for control of the company.
On Monday, SandRidge also elevated former PostRock Energy Corp. CEO David Lawler to chief operating officer. He joined SandRidge in 2011 as executive vice president of operations.
“Dave has been an invaluable member of the executive team over the last two years,” SandRidge President James D. Bennett said. “His leadership and rigorous focus on returns have been critical to our success in the Mississippian play.
“His teams have secured multiple competitive advantages in the region and positioned us as the lowest cost developer and most efficient operator there. We look forward to his continued leadership and contribution as our chief operating officer.”
Lawler replaces Matthew K. Grubb as chief operating officer. Grubb was terminated without cause last month, according to regulatory filings.
SandRidge stock rose 15 cents on Monday, closing at $5.11 a share.