Approach Resources Inc. said late April 9 that its top executive J. Ross Craft, who has been with the Fort Worth, Texas-based oil and gas company since its inception, had resigned.

The Permian E&P, which operations focus on the Wolfcamp Shale within the Midland Basin, also replaced other members of its executive and senior leadership teams that the company said will reduce nearly one-fifth of its corporate overhead.

Craft has served as CEO of Approach since September 2002. In 2014, he was also named chairman of the company’s board.

He will be replaced as CEO by Sergei Krylov, who has served as the company’s executive vice president and CFO since joining Approach in January 2014. Krylov previously worked at J.P. Morgan Securities LLC in the firm’s energy investment banking group. He will also retain his duties as Approach’s CFO.

Approach said it also remains in discussions with Qingming Yang, who serves as president and COO regarding his departure, but already has a replacement lined up for him as well.

In addition, Approach named Jim Crain, a partner of private-equity firm EnCap Investments LP who has served as a director since June 2007, as board chairman. Crain also serves as chairman of the company’s nominating and corporate governance committee.

Lastly, J. Curtis Henderson, Approach’s chief administrative officer and corporate secretary, entered into a separation agreement with the company. Henderson will remain at the company for up to six months, and during this time will transition his responsibilities to the new management team members. Josh Dazey, Approach’s vice president, general counsel and assistant secretary, will assume Henderson’s primary responsibilities over this period.

The combined compensation and benefits associated with Craft, Yang and Henderson in 2018 represented roughly 19% of 2018 total corporate cash and non-cash general and administrative expenses, according to the company press release.

Before Approach, Craft co-founded Athanor Resources Inc., an international E&P company with operations in the U.S. and Tunisia, in 1998 and was its executive vice president from 1998 until its merger with Nuevo Energy Co. in September 2002. He also held various positions beginning in 1988 with American Cometra Inc. until its sale in two parts to Range Resources Corp. in 1995 and then to Pioneer Natural Resources Co. in 1997.

Yang joined Approach in July 2009 as vice president of exploration and was later promoted to executive vice president of business development and geosciences before being named COO in 2012. He tacked on the president title in January 2017. He has over 25 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, including 12 years with Pioneer Natural Resources, according to the company’s website.

Upon Yang’s departure, Approach said Troy Hoefer, the company’s senior vice president of engineering who has been with the company since June 2013, will assume management of Approach’s production and drilling operations.

Emily Patsy can be reached at