Charif Souki, the ousted executive chairman of Tellurian Inc., will receive a hefty severance payment exceeding at least $8.1 million, according to a Dec. 19 regulatory filing.

Charif Souki
Charif Souki. (Source: Tellurian)

Souki, a co-founder of the LNG-focused company, was terminated without cause on Dec. 8, with the company’s board of directors naming Martin Houston, also co-founder of the company, as his successor.

The Dec. 19 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing spells out some of Souki’s compensation under his employment agreement, although the exact amount he will receive is unclear.

The SEC filing says that Souki will receive:

  • A lump sum payment of $105,000 for 30 of days of base pay;
  • About $6.4 million in cash severance payable in equal installments over 12 months;
  • A lump sum payment of $1 million on Dec. 22;
  • A potential pro-rated 2023 annual bonus; and
  • Transfer of travel-benefits valued at approximately $660,000.

Souki will also retain eligibility for any unvested and outstanding tracking units granted under his incentive compensation.

Souki sold millions of shares in Tellurian in 2023, and in June the company said it became aware of “certain facts and claims associated with loan agreements” related to his holdings in the company. A Tellurian SEC filing, quoting from a lawsuit, said Souki was accused of breach of duty with a lender. The lawsuit said Souki had pledged shares against loans he had taken out. Those loans were foreclosed in 2023 and the shares sold to the market, “which may have caused a significant decrease in the company’s stock price,” Tellurian said.  

“Further, two entities owned by Mr. Souki declared bankruptcy in July 2023. These and other events relating to, or actions taken by or involving Mr. Souki in his personal capacity may have an impact on the company,” Tellurian said in June.

In November, Tellurian warned that the company, which is developing the Driftwood LNG project in Louisiana, had “substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.”