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$SD Hits the Bid on CEO, Company Pays $90 Million Golden Parachute

SandRidge Energy Inc. SD +2.17% on Wednesday ousted Chief Executive Tom Ward after dissident investors pushed for his removal. But the founder’s fall is being cushioned by about $90 million, one of the larger severance packages seen in the energy industry.

Mr. Ward’s departure wasn’t a surprise. SandRidge came under fire last year from activist investors for Mr. Ward’s high pay, a weak stock performance and its dealings with businesses controlled by Mr. Ward and his family. A spokesman for Mr. Ward said he wasn’t available to comment.

In March, the Oklahoma City company settled a proxy fight with a big activist shareholder, agreeing to either fire Mr. Ward or give control of its board to the activist, hedge fund TPG-Axon Capital LP. SandRidge appointed four directors nominated by the investor at that time.

SandRidge promoted President and Chief Financial Officer James Bennett to CEO. Mr. Bennett, who will remain president, worked in private equity before joining SandRidge in 2011….”

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