Unit Corp’s President and CEO to step down but remain as Chairman
Unit Corporation’s Philip B. Smith is stepping down as President and CEO of the company, positions he held since October of 2020. Smith plans to continue serving as Chairman of the board of Unit.
In making the announcement, the company stated his decision to step down was a desire to spend more time working on his nonprofit projects and other endeavors and “not due to any disagreement with the company” on any matter relating to Unit’s operations, policies or practices.
To fill the vacancy created by Smith’s resignation, on February 28, 2023, the Board appointed Phil Frohlich as interim Chief Executive Officer, effective April 1, 2023, until the Board names a successor. Frohlich has been a member of the Board since September 3, 2020.
In connection with Smith stepping down as President and CEO, the Board has approved (i) a pro-rated vesting of his outstanding time-based equity awards scheduled to vest on the next applicable vesting date based on the number of days worked during the then-current vesting period, and (ii) extending the time that Mr. Smith can exercise his options to the expiration date set forth in his award agreement governing the options.
Frohlich will not receive an annual base salary for his service as Chief Executive Officer. He will continue to receive his director compensation. No bonuses or equity awards were granted in connection with his appointment.
Frohlich does not have any family relationships with any executive officer or director of the Company. He is not party to any transaction requiring disclosure under Item 404(a) of Regulation S-K.
There are no arrangements or understandings with the Company, or any other persons, under which Frohlich was elected to serve as an officer of the Company. Frohlich was founder of Prescott Capital Management in 1992 and served since then as its Managing Partners. The Oklahoma-based hedge fund has around $500 million in assets under management and focuses on small and mid-cap stocks.
In October 2020, Unit’s Board of Directors named Philip Smith to the positions of President and Chief Executive Officer. He is the former Chief Executive Officer of Prize Energy Corp. and Tide West Oil Company. Smith served on the Board of Directors of Eagle Rock Energy LP from 2007 to 2015.
Prior to Eagle Rock Energy, 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. He also served as CEO of Tide West Oil Company and grew the Company from less than $10 million in assets to more than $200 million in assets before it was sold to HS Resources in 1997.