Energy giant SandRidge has given CEO Tom Ward wide latitude to profit from personal oil-and-gas deals in ways that pose potential conflicts of interest with the company, Reuters’ Michael Erman, Brian Grow and Anna Driver report.Grow and Driver are the same reporters who ran a series of reports last summer highlighting alleged conflict of interest by Aubrey McClendon, the CEO of Chesapeake Energy.
McClendon just announced he will be stepping down in April.
Through what Reuters describes as recent, “little-noticed” changes to his contract, Ward is now able to ink deals with SandRidge competitors as well as do business with SandRidge on any land that he owns or acquires. Before the changes, Ward was only allowed to make deals on land he owned prior to joining the company in 2006.
The language in Ward’s contract “doesn’t pass the smell test,” said Anne Sheehan, director of corporate governance for the California pension fund CalSTRS, which owns 880,000 SandRidge shares. “This board has sanctioned what Ward is doing.”