Michael Reger's second stint as CEO at Northern Oil and Gas was short-lived, though he is hardly leaving the company again.
Minnetonka-based Northern Oil recently unveiled a "realignment of executive job responsibilities," switching Reger from CEO to president. Reger had just been renamed CEO in late May. Brandon Elliott, who was named president and chief operating officer in May, is now CEO.
Reger co-founded Northern Oil in 2006 and was its CEO until he was fired by the company's board in August 2016.
Northern Oil disclosed the changes last week, and they became effective immediately. The company said in a statement that the job shift will "optimize the daily management of the company and better position [it] to capitalize on growth opportunities."
As president, Reger will focus on "acquisition opportunities," the company said. Northern Oil invests in leases and drilling projects in North Dakota.
Reger was terminated, without severance, after federal regulators indicated they were pursuing him for a possible securities-law violation in connection with another company, Dakota Plains Holdings. In October 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced it had settled claims against Reger and that he had agreed to pay nearly $8 million.
Reger consented to an SEC order finding that he received illicit payments and skirted public disclosure laws in connection with Dakota Plains' initial public stock offering in 2012.
He neither admitted to nor denied the SEC's findings.
Reger sued Northern Oil for wrongful termination, settling in September for a cash payment of $750,000 and a stock award valued at just more than $3 million. At the time, he was also named "chairman emeritus" and four months later became an adviser to the board.
Over the past year, Northern Oil's board leadership has changed after Bahram Akradi became the company's second-largest shareholder. Akradi, the founder and CEO of Chanhassen-based Life Time fitness centers, was named Northern's chairman in February.