February 20, 2018, by David Wethe
Hilcorp Energy Co. announced that its billionaire owner Jeff Hildebrand has stepped down as chief executive officer of the largest closely held U.S. oil explorer.
“The organizational change comes as the company, a longtime producer in Alaska, Texas and Louisiana, continues to see substantial growth in other legacy assets across the United States,” Justin Furnace, a spokesman, said Tuesday in an emailed statement. “Mr. Hildebrand will maintain his position as executive chairman and continue to be heavily involved with the company.”
Hildebrand, who founded the Houston-based company 29 years ago, is the 209th wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of $7.6 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company has regularly ranked among Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work for” and is known for its generous employee bonuses. In 2015, as oil prices were breaching multi-year lows, Hilcorp reportedly paid $100,000 to every employee after hitting five-year goals for production and reserves. That was five years after the company gave out cars or cash in 2010 for reaching the prior set of goals.
The new CEO is Greg Lalicker, a petroleum engineer who joined the company in 2006 after stints at BHP Billiton Ltd.’s oil unit and at McKinsey & Co. The change in leadership was announced internally in November, Furnace said. Also at that time, Jason Rebrook, a former executive with GE Capital and Chevron Corp., was elevated to president. Rebrook’s promotion “allows Hilcorp to focus simultaneously on current asset development and potential future growth,” he said.
Hilcorp produced the equivalent of 65.9 million barrels of oil and natural gas, the Oil & Gas Financial Journal reported in July 2017. Last year, the company acquired assets in New Mexico from ConocoPhillips for $2.7 billion in cash and as much as $300 million more in payments contingent on gas prices.