Energy Executives That Bankrupted Their Companies – Where Are They Now?


In light of commodity price crash starting in 2H14, 2015-2016 (and ongoing) has been characterized with a plethora of bankruptcies in US Energy (summary of oil patch bankruptcies). Many of the Chapter 11 cases have been resolved and these entities have emerged post-reorganization (while some are still under Chapter 11 and new entities are still filing for Chapter 11) since then. In almost every case, shareholders have either been wiped out or have only recovered a nominal amount, many employees have been laid off in light of restructuring efforts, and hundreds of billions of dollar has been restructured with substantial impairment for banks, institutional and retail investors.

There is always a second and third chance in the oil & gas business where the industry is still relatively tight-knit, perpetual optimism and cowboy mentality are pervasive, and so much dry powder exists among financial institutions that still need to deploy capital in the oil & gas space. Many of the executives that drove these businesses into bankruptcy are now starting a new chapter of their lives… what are they up to now?

Below is strictly based on publicly available information and they have not been independently verified.

New Money, New Venture:

  • Hunt Pettit (Energy and Exploration Partners CEO) – Started new oil venture in the Permian, called Whitehorse Energy
  • Gary Evans (Magnum Hunter Resources CEO) – Started new oil venture in Eagle Ford and Permian, called Energy Hunter Resources; private placement through friends and family and announced proposed IPO in October 2016
  • Chris Hammack (Trinity River CEO) – Founded Presidio Petroleum

Kept Their Jobs:

  • John Schiller (Energy XXI CEO) – Remains CEO of Energy XXI
  • Floyd Wilson (Halcon CEO) – Remains CEO
  • Mark Mize (Halcon CFO) – Remains CFO
  • James Bennett (Sandridge Energy CEO) – Remains CEO of Sandridge
  • Mark Ellis (Linn Energy CEO) – Remains CEO of Linn Energy
  • Walter Goodrich (Goodrich Petroleum CEO) – Remains CEO of Goodrich
  • John Rynd (Hercules Offshore CEO) – Remained CEO after first bankruptcy filing in August 2015; Hercules Offshore filed for another bankruptcy in June 2016
  • Alton Heckaman (Swift Energy CFO) – Remains CFO
  • Steve Hartman (Penn Virginia CFO) – Remains CFO
  • Thomas Cooke (Saratoga Resources CEO) – Remains Chairman and CEO of Saratoga
  • Jerry Winchester (Seventy Seven Energy CEO) – Remains CEO of Seventy Seven Energy
  • Ralph Hill (New Gulf Resources CEO) – Remains Chairman and CEO (renamed ETX Energy)

New Executive Gig:

  • James Watt (Dune Energy CEO) – Appointed as CEO of Warren Resources; since then, Warren Resources filed for Chapter 11 as well; James Watt remains CEO of Warren Resources post-reorganization
  • Philip Cook (Samson Resources CFO) – CFO of Primexx
  • Shane Bayless (Former CFO of Sabine that resigned in December 2014 before filing for bankruptcy) – CFO of Compass Production Partners and is now seeking a new position according to his linkedin profile
  • West Griffin (Former CFO of Energy XXI that stepped down in 2014) – CFO of Calumet Specialty Products
  • Jan Schott (Goodrich Petroleum CFO) – Resigned and joined Texas Crude Energy as VP of Accounting & Tax
  • John Regan (Quicksilver Resources CFO) – Resigned right before filing; CFO of Vine Oil & Gas
  • Mike Dickinson (Emerald Oil COO) – SVP of Operations at Confluence Resources
  • Rob LaRocque (Milagro Oil & Gas CFO) – Managing Director of GE Energy Financial Services
  • Kirk Trosclair (Green Hunter CFO) – CEO of Fountain Quail Energy Services


  • David Sambrooks (Sabine Oil & Gas CEO) – On Garden Leave according to his linkedin profile
  • Terry Swift (Swift Energy CEO) – Retired
  • Eddie LeBlanc (Sandridge Energy CFO) – Retired
  • Mark Fischer (Chaparral CEO) – Retired
  • Baird Whitehead (Penn Virginia CEO) – Retired
  • Scott Boruff (Miller Energy Resources CEO) – CEO of Platinum Equity Advisors
  • Terry Carter (Postrock Energy CEO) – Retired
  • John Simon (Bennu Oil & Gas CEO) – Retired
  • Kirk Stingley (American Eagle Energy CFO) – Financial Consultant at The Credere Group
  • Howard Settle (RAAM Global Energy CEO) – Managing Partner of ATMA Investments

Hurting A Little Bit:

  • Kolja Rockov (Linn Energy CFO) – Resigned; he was known for his penchant for extravagant living and after his resignation, he had to put his unfinished mansion in Houston on the market for $6.9 million
  • Duer Wagner III (Duer Wagner Oil & Gas) – Wagner’s companies owed subsidiaries of Beal Bank money for a loan, for which his Aspen home was used as collateral. Beal Bank auctioned and sold his home in Aspen for $29.5 million in December 2015
  • Former CFO of Miller Energy, Paul Boyd and COO David Hall charged by SEC for accounting frauds 2 months before filing for bankruptcy – settlement of $5MM reached in January 2016
  • Brian Alfaro (Primera Energy CEO) – Investors sued him and his wife for alleged fraud and violations of securities law and civil conspiracy


  • Breitburn Energy Partners gets bankruptcy court approval on a $9.5 million bonus package
  • Atlas Energy paid CEO Ed Cohen $73.2 million in cash and his son, Jonathan Cohen $61.5 million in cash less than 2 months before filing for bankruptcy
Image Source: The Chronicle

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