Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE: DVN) reports that John Richels, the company’s president and CEO, plans to retire next year, effective July 31, 2015. Devon’s board of directors intends to elect Dave Hager, currently COO, to succeed Richels as president and CEO.
The board of directors has elected Richels vice chairman of the board, effective immediately, with the intent for Richels to replace Larry Nichols as chairman upon Nichols’ retirement from the board in 2016. At that time, Nichols is expected to become chairman emeritus.
Richels joined Devon in 1998 and led Devon Canada Corp., Devon’s Canadian subsidiary, until being elected president of Devon in 2004. In 2007, he joined Devon’s board of directors and was elected CEO in 2010. Prior to joining Devon, Richels was CFO of Northstar Energy Corp. He has served as a director of a number of publicly traded companies and previously was managing partner of the Canadian-based law firm Bennett Jones. Richels also served as general counsel of the XV Olympic Winter Games Organizing Committee in Calgary.
Hager has been with Devon since 2009, when he was named executive vice president of exploration and production. From 2007 until joining the company, Hager served as a member of the Devon board of directors. He has 35 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, having started his career in 1979 as a geophysicist with Mobil Corp., and joined Sun Oil Co. (predecessor of Oryx Energy Co.) in 1981. Upon the Kerr-McGee/Oryx merger in 1999, he became vice president of Gulf of Mexico operations for Kerr-McGee. There, he held positions of increasing responsibility, including vice president of international operations and vice president of worldwide deepwater exploration and production. He was promoted to senior vice president responsible for oil and gas exploration and production in 2003, and COO in 2005. Hager has a bachelor's degree in geophysics from Purdue University and a master's degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University.