Management shakeup at Unit Corporation—CEO Merrill leaves the company


A big change in management at Tulsa-based Unit Corporation was announced Tuesday, including the departure of David Merrill has President and Chief Executive Officer.

He not only stepped down as the company’s leader but resigned as well from the Board of Directors. The board of directors (Board) has named current Chairman, Philip Smith, to the added positions of President and Chief Executive Officer effective immediately.

Smith was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Prize Energy Corp., which he co-founded with NGP in 1999, until the Company’s merger with Magnum Hunter Resources in 2002. Mr. Smith also served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Tide West Oil Company, and has been a member of the board of directors of three other publicly traded companies.

Les Austin retired as Unit’s Chief Financial Officer and Frank Young stepped down as Executive Vice President of Unit Petroleum, the company’s exploration and production affiliate.

The company has hired Thomas Sell to serve as Interim Chief Financial Officer. Sell comes from Montereau, Inc. where he has been the Chief Financial Officer since March 2020. Before that, he spent four years as the Chief Accounting Officer and Controller for SemGroup Corporation. From 1996 to 2016, Mr. Sell was with Williams Companies, Inc. where he held several different management positions in finance and accounting. Mr. Sell was with Deloitte & Touche from 1987 to 1996.

The company also promoted David P. Dunham to Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In his new role, Dunham will be responsible for the day-to-day operations and business development of the Company.  Dunham joined the Company in November 2007 as its Director of Corporate Planning. He was promoted to Vice President of Corporate Planning in January 2012. He has served as the Company’s Senior Vice President of Business Development since August 2017.

Source: BusinessWire

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