WPX Energy has selected Continental Resources Inc. executive Rick Muncrief as its new CEO, the company announced Thursday morning.
Muncrief, who had been Continental’s senior vice president of operations and resource development, will assume the top post at Tulsa-based WPX on May 15. He will join the company’s board after its annual shareholder meeting a week later.
Muncrief, 55, is replacing Ralph A. Hill, who stepped down in December after 32 years with WPX and former parent Williams Cos. Inc.
Interim CEO James J. Bender will retire after helping Muncrief transition into his new job.
WPX officials praised Muncrief for his work at Continental, which saw its reserves, production and share price increase by more than four-fold during his tenure.
“Rick has an accomplished record of sizing things up and driving plans that produce exceptional results, profitable growth and lower costs,” WPX Chairman William G. Lowrie said. “He has prior experience in our growth areas, particularly the Williston and San Juan basins, and is ready to hit the ground running.”
A good match
Muncrief, an Oklahoma native, is a petroleum engineer with nearly 30 years of experience. He has spent the bulk of his career in the Rocky Mountain region, where WPX is active.
“There’s an innovative spirit at WPX,” Muncrief said. “I expect WPX to succeed, and I’m eager to become part of the company. We have much to leverage from WPX’s assets and the contributions of those who helped forge the company into a leading independent producer.”
WPX’s stock rose 14 cents on Thursday, closing at $21.42 a share.
Continental CEO Harold Hamm said Muncrief is positioned for success in his new role.
“We wish Rick the absolute best and are confident he will be as successful in his new role as he has been at Continental,” Hamm said.
Continental promoted Gary E. Gould to replace Muncrief, the company announced Thursday.
Gould, 49, joined Continental last year from Chesapeake Energy Corp. as vice president of resource development.
Continental also announced Eric S. Eissenstadt, the company’s senior vice president, general counsel and secretary, has taken on the role of chief risk officer.