WPX Energy CEO Ralph Hill is Out, Interim CEO James Bender is In

A “hmmm, that’s interesting” story from WPX. Yesterday we told you about WPX’s kerfuffle over water buffaloes in Susquehanna County, PA (see WPX Decides to Let Franklin Forks Families Keep Water Tanks). Today, in what is likely unrelated to the water buffalo story, WPX has suddenly announced the departure (booting out?) of CEO Ralph Hill at the end of this month. Hill has spent his entire career (32 years) first with Williams, and then with the spun-off WPX Energy. However, he’s not an old man by any stretch–perhaps in his early to mid-fifties. The announcement wishes him well in his “future endeavors”–not in his “retirement.” Not only is Hill out as CEO, he’s off the board of directors too. Hmmm. What does it all mean?

The company is appointing James J. Bender as interim president, CEO and board member, effective Dec. 31, 2013. Hill will stick around until March to help with the transition. Here’s the mysterious WPX announcement issued today:

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