Northern Oil and Gas co-founder Michael Reger, ousted in 2016, is back as CEO.
The Minnetonka-based company issued a release Thursday announcing his return, the appointment of a new chief financial officer and additional changes to the management team.
Reger, who co-founded the oil and gas exploration and production company in 2006, was fired in August 2016 after federal regulators indicated they were pursuing him for a possible securities law violation in connection with another company, Dakota Plains Holdings.
In September, Reger settled a wrongful termination lawsuit against the company and won a $750,000 cash payment and a stock award valued at $3 million. As part of that settlement, the company also agreed to give Reger the honorific title of “chairman emeritus.”
Since Reger’s departure, the company’s board leadership had changed. Bahram Akradi, the founder and CEO of the Chanhassen-based fitness company Life Time, invested heavily in Northern Oil and Gas and in February was named chairman.
Akradi said in the news release that he has worked to restore the company’s financials, shore up its executive team and “position Northern as the largest non-op consolidator in the Williston Basin.”
In addition to returning Reger to his CEO role, Northern Oil and Gas appointed Nicholas O’Grady as chief financial officer. It also made the following changes to executive titles: Brandon Elliott as president and chief operating officer; Erik Romslo as executive vice president, general counsel and secretary; Chad Allen as chief accounting officer; and Adam Dirlam as executive vice president of land.
Akradi also announced a new CEO compensation plan for Reger that awards him a $1 annual salary and 240,000 shares of company stock and a long-term incentive program that could earn Reger 1.8 million additional shares based on the company’s earnings and share price. O’Grady will get a $270,000 annual salary and smaller performance-based long-term equity awards.
“We have developed a compensation plan that aligns the interests of our executives with the shareholders of Northern,” Akradi added. “The compensation of our executive team will be heavily driven by achieving growth in the company’s EBITDA and share price.”