EQT Corp. (NYSE: EQT) said Aug. 9 it named Robert J. McNally as its next president and CEO, filling a vacancy left open since the 130-year-old Appalachia shale company’s former head, Steven Schlotterbeck, resigned over a pay dispute in March.
McNally has been with EQT since March 2016, when he joined as senior vice president and CFO for the company and its midstream subsidiary and general partner. His appointment as president and CEO will take effect upon completion of EQT’s upstream and midstream business separation, which the company launched in February.
The company also announced on Aug. 9 that Thomas F. Karam has been appointed to lead EQT’s midstream business, effective immediately. Karam has been a senior executive and entrepreneur in the midstream energy sector for more than 25 years, according to the company press release.
EQT said Karam’s predecessor, Jeremiah J. Ashcroft III, was relieved of all duties with the company and its subsidiaries, effective Aug. 8.
In February, EQT launched plans to spin off its midstream business to create a stand-alone publicly traded company named Equitrans Midstream Corp.
As part of the business separation, David L. Porges, the company’s chairman who has also been filling in as interim president and CEO since Schlotterbeck’s resignation, will step down from the EQT board to become chairman of the new midstream company Equitrans Midstream Corp.’s board.
As a result, James E. Rohr, currently lead independent director of EQT’s board, will become the company's new board chairman.
Rohr said in a statement: “Rob McNally has been an integral member of the EQT leadership team, helping to steer the company through several transformative transactions, which ultimately will culminate with the upcoming upstream/midstream business separation. His deep financial experience and understanding of the sector will serve EQT and its shareholders well as it enters its next phase as a pure-play upstream business.”
McNally has more than 24 years of experience in the energy sector after starting his career with Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB), working first in operations and then in sales.
Prior to EQT, McNally was executive vice president and CFO of Precision Drilling Corp., a Calgary, Alberta-based oilfield services company. He also has a background in capital markets, which includes oversight of investments in energy technology start-ups at Kenda Capital LLC; an IPO while with Warrior Energy Services Corp.; and several years of investment banking and M&A advisory experience with Simmons & Co. International.
“It is an honor to be chosen as CEO of EQT Corporation and I am thrilled to have this opportunity to lead our employees and shareholders into an exciting new chapter of EQT’s transformation,” McNally said in a statement. “I have worked closely with Dave and other members of EQT’s leadership team and board of directors for the past few years and, collectively, we have accomplished tremendous milestones that have positioned EQT for continued shareholder value creation. Post-separation, I look forward to working alongside our dedicated team of employees who share my commitment to the long-term success of our company.”
The new head for EQT’s midstream business, Karam, has been a member of the company’s board of directors since November 2017, following the close of the acquisition of Rice Energy.
“It’s been a pleasure to serve on EQT’s board of directors and I want to thank them for this tremendous opportunity,” Karam said in a statement. “As we work to take our midstream company to the next level, we will begin with a few key areas of focus.”
Karam said Equitrans’ first order of business will be to keep the Mountain Valley Pipeline project on-track to meet the first-quarter 2019 targeted in-service date. He added that the company will also work quickly to simplify its midstream structure by addressing the incentive distribution rights.
During his career, Karam has founded and led several midstream companies including Karbon Partners LLC, PennTex and Laser Midstream Partners LLC. He also served as president, COO and director of Southern Union Co. Before that he was president and CEO of Pennsylvania Enterprises Inc. and PG Energy until it was acquired by Southern Union.
The proposed separation of EQT’s upstream and midstream businesses remains subject to customary conditions, the company release said.