New COO for Magnum Hunter Raises a Few Interesting Questions

Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR) announced a change in upper management yesterday that caught our attention. Keith Yankowsky, 50, has been hired as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer reporting to CEO Gary Evans. It caught our attention for a couple of reasons. Number one, Yankowsky was hired away from Chesapeake Energy. It was just two days ago we heard about another high level defection from Chesapeake–Aubrey McClendon hired away one of his old mates to become CFO of his new company (see McClendon’s American Energy Partners Gets a New CFO). Now we have a second very high level defection from Chesapeake with Yankowsky, who was serving as Vice President of the Appalachia South Business Unit, to join a much smaller (and financially troubled) company. Two defections does not a trend make, but we have to ask: What do they know that we don’t? Hmmmm. The second thing we notice is that this appears to be a completely new position at MHR, shifting some of the responsibility for day to day operations off from Gary Evans’ plate and onto Yankowsky’s plate. Was this Gary saying, “Hey board, I need some help,” or the board saying, “Hey Gary, you NEED some help”? Hmmmm…

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