All Employees of WPX Energy:
I am writing to let you know that Ralph Hill has stepped down as President, CEO and board member of the company effective as of Dec. 31. Also, the Board of Directors has appointed Jim Bender as the interim President, CEO and board member replacing Ralph, also as of Dec.31.
As you know, Jim has served as our Senior Vice President and General Counsel and as a member of the company’s executive leadership team since we became an independently listed public company on Jan. 1, 2012. He knows the company as well as anyone else, having joined Williams, our predecessor company, in late 2002.
We are fortunate that Jim has agreed to step in to lead the company on an interim basis while we search for a new CEO. The reporting structures of our teams will remain intact and the executives that reported to Ralph previously will now report to Jim.
We appreciate the many contributions that Ralph has made, including the role he played in the creation of WPX Energy. We wish him the best as he takes the next step in his career.
The Board will be focused on an external CEO search over the next several months and we have retained a global executive recruiting firm to assist in our effort. We do not intend to make any additional senior management changes at this time.
The Board of Directors firmly believes that now is the right time for a leadership change at WPX Energy in order to bring a fresh perspective and determine a long-term strategy that will position the company for future success.
Thanks to all of your efforts, we have accomplished a lot in the two years since the company was founded, especially in light of the challenging natural gas price environment. However, as we think about the next few years, it is imperative to find the right leader to perform a critical review of our strategic direction and enhance our operating and financial performance.
Thank you for your continued hard work and dedication to WPX Energy. I believe that we have a very talented group of employees and cannot overstate the important role that each of you plays in our future success. I look forward to updating you when we have news to share.
William G. Lowrie
Chairman of the Board