Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has announced that Sami Zouari (pictured), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), will be stepping down as CFO and a Director of the Company during the second half of the year, and will leave the business by no later than 2 December 2019.
Mr Zouari has been CFO of GKP since January 2015 overseeing both financial and commercial activities in the company. Since joining, he has played a key role in the strategic turnaround of the business, in particular leading the 2016 implementation of a new capital structure, materially strengthening the Company's balance sheet and bringing about a significant debt reduction. In addition, he has overseen the $100 million bond refinancing completed in 2018, and, most recently, was instrumental in the introduction of the Company's maiden dividend policy.
In addition to remuneration in respect of his six-month notice period which will run from the date of this announcement, Mr Zouari will remain eligible to receive a pro rata bonus under the Executive Bonus Scheme for the 2019 financial year. With respect to Mr Zouari's current outstanding options held under the 2016 Value Creation Plan (VCP), these will be retained by Mr Zouari and will vest according to the rules and normal operation of the VCP, subject to performance conditions being attained.
A leading search firm will be appointed to find Mr Zouari's successor and the process is expected to be concluded over the coming months. A further announcement will be made in due course.
Jaap Huijskes, Chairman of the Company, said:
"On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Sami for his substantial positive contribution over the past four and a half years. He has played a pivotal role in bringing Gulf Keystone back from the brink of collapse and helping to shape it into the profitable company it is today.
"We wish Sami well for the future and look forward to an orderly handover to his successor over the coming months."
Jón Ferrier, Chief Executive Officer, said:
"It has been a privilege to work with Sami who has been key in the overall turnaround of the company. His legacy will be the strong financial position GKP enjoys today, which is in marked contrast to the Company he joined in early 2015.
"I look forward to continuing to work closely with him over the coming months, at what remains an important time for us as we materially build production from the Shaikan Field.
"I echo the Chairman's thanks for his important contribution to the Company throughout his tenure as CFO, and have no doubt that he will be employing his intellect, strategic grasp and leadership skills in his future endeavours."