* Board member Patrick McDonald to be interim CEO
* McDonald succeeds Clark; had been CEO since 2003
* Board has initiated a search process for a permanent CEO
* Shares up 2.2 percent in morning trading
June 22 Forest Oil Corp, whose stock
price has plunged more than 50 percent since January, replaced
Chief Executive H. Craig Clark with a long-time board member on
Patrick McDonald, 55, a director at the independent oil and
natural gas producer since 2004, takes over immediately. Clark
had been CEO since 2003.
A Forest Oil spokesman declined to comment on the reason for
Forest Oil Chairman James Lightner said in a statement that
the first priority for McDonald, who has worked in the energy
industry for more than 25 years, will be to "personally involve
himself" in the company's expansion into the oil-rich Eagle Ford
shale development in Texas.
Ratings agency Standard & Poor's said in March that there
was "some uncertainty around (Forest Oil's) liquids-production
growth and drilling costs over the next couple years" as it was
relatively new to some of its liquids-rich fields.
McDonald also will focus on selling assets to cut Forest
Oil's $1.8 billion debt load - more than double the company's
current market value - Lightner said.
"Forest has valuable assets, hard-working and talented
employees, and tremendous potential, and the Board is confident
that the Company can significantly increase shareholder value,"
The company had cash and equivalents of roughly $900,000 as
of March 31.
McDonald will serve as interim CEO and has asked not to be
considered as a permanent successor to Clark. He plans to remain
CEO of Carbon Natural Gas Co, a small oil and natural
gas exploration company.
Forest Oil has hired executive search firm Spencer Stuart to
find a new CEO.
The company, valued at roughly $745 million, has lost more
than two-thirds of its market value in the last year.
Shares rose 2.2 percent to $6.60 in morning trading on