Weatherford (WFT) Just Appointed This Veteran as CEO

Weatherford International PLC (NYSE: WFT) shares were up 12.56% on March 7, 2017, on heavy volume. Traders exchanged over 100M shares on, over 4.50 times its average daily trading volume, according to Yahoo Finance. The stock has been significantly outperforming the market and its sector in 2017, returning over 30% YTD. The S&P 500 Index was only up 6.20% YTD, and the oil and gas equipment and services industry was down 3.76% YTD.

Here’s a look at WFT’s recent performance:

Weatherford International

Weatherford appointed ex-Haliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) Chief Financial Officer Mark McCollum as its CEO and President. Additionally, Weatherford appointed McCollum as a member of the Board of Directors. McCollum’s effective start date will be in April 2017.

McCollum A Good Fit for Weatherford?

Mark McCollum has an immense knowledge of the energy sector. McCollum has over 36 years of leadership experience in the energy sector, and most recently served as the CFO of Halliburton. Mark McCollum earned the Halliburton CFO position in 2008 and resumed in July 2016, after a stint as Chief Integration Officer during the pendency Halliburton’s proposed acquisition of Baker Hughes Incorporated. Additionally, McCollum has held senior positions at Tenneco Inc., including CFO. Moreover, he served as an Audit and Advisory Partner in the Arthur Andersen’s Energy Division.

Moreover, McCollum serves as a member of the Board of Directors and the Audit and Compensation Committes at Archrock Inc. (formerly known as Exterran Holdings).

WFT is one of the world’s largest multinational oilfield service companies, which provides innovative solutions, services and technology to the oil and gas industry. Weatherford currently operates in over 90 countries with a network of approximately 900 locations.

According to Mr. McCollum, “I am excited to join the Company at such an important time. Weatherford is an excellent company with great people, technology and global reach. I look forward to working with the team to build a stronger and healthier Weatherford with a clear purpose and vision for the future. I believe Weatherford is well positioned to maximize opportunities in the recovering market and provide exceptional service to our customers and value to our shareholders.”

Here’s What the Chairman of the BoD Said

Weatherford’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, William Macaulay, stated, “We are extremely excited to have Mark as our CEO and as new member of the Board. After conducting a thorough executive search the Board determined that Mark’s significant industry experience, proven track record and leadership expertise makes him the ideal choice to lead Weatherford.”

Macaulay added, “Consistent with our recent communications, our near-term priorities remain unchanged and focused on driving sustainable free cash flow, higher returns and improved financial flexibility. Furthermore, we remain committed to the core elements of our near-term strategy and will achieve these objectives through debt reduction, non-core asset dispositions and getting back to the basics in the way we work as we continue serving our customers with excellence and the highest level of service quality. The Board and I are highly confident that Mark is well suited to lead Weatherford in these efforts and execute a longer-term strategy to position the Company for the next chapter in its evolution. We look forward to working with him on these important steps.”

Could WFT Continue to Rise?

The new appointed CEO seems to be a good fit for Weatherford, and consequently, the new leadership could put WFT in the right direction. Prior to the Weatherford’s appointment of McCollum as new CEO, CEO Bernard Duroc-Danner abruptly departed his role in November 2016. Thereafter, WFT shares spiked up over 30% on that news alone. It’s clear to see that investors were unsure of the company’s fate under the previous management. With McCollum’s leadership skills, he may prevent Weatherford from hemorrhaging cash, and could turn the company into a profitable one.

The Bottom Line

Weatherford is coming under new leadership, in the good hands of Mark McCollum, who has over 36 years of experience in the energy sector. Most recently, McCollum served as the CFO of Halliburton, and his skill set should be highly beneficial to Weather. The stock gapped up over 12% on this news, and it could run higher.


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