With all the euphemistic press releases announcing that a chief executive officer or board chairman is "resigning," or "stepping down," it sometimes seems as though executives never get fired anymore. Until now – Caspian Energy Inc., a junior Calgary-based oil and gas exploration firm that operates mainly in Kazakhstan, has "terminated" its CEO of a decade.
In a short addendum to an update regarding the resumption of trading in Caspian's shares, the company unceremoniously stated that William Ramsay has been terminated and replaced by Brian Korney, the chief financial officer.
It was evident that trouble was brewing when Mr. Ramsay resigned from the board of directors in February, stating that the new board "has a great deal of experience" and that Caspian "is evaluating every aspect of its business."
A few months later, he's been ousted from the company altogether.
Mr. Korney, the new acting CEO, was tight-lipped but told The Globe and Mail that "major changes" are happening within the company, not least after venture holders, including Meridian Capital International Fund, Firebird Avrora Fund, and Firebird Global Master Fund, converted their debentures in February, giving them a 90 per cent stake. And, evidently, sending Mr. Ramsay packing.
Mr. Ramsay, who spent much of his career on private equity deals in Kazakhstan, became CEO of Caspian Energy back in 2004. He could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Korney, a chartered accountant by training, was hired around the same time in 2004, acting as CFO and vice-president of finance before taking the helm as acting CEO now.
Caspian Energy recently got into trouble with the B.C., Ontario, and Alberta Securities Commissions for failing to report its financial statements for 2013, prompting the regulators to suspend the trading of Caspian's common shares. The company filed these documents in May 2014, reporting a net loss of $8.2-million, or a $360 loss per share.