Jeff Ventura, president and CEO of pioneering Marcellus Shale player Range Resources Corp., will retire this summer.

Ventura plans to step down from his leadership roles at the Fort Worth-based shale company effective June 2, Range said after markets closed on March 16. He will not seek reelection to the Range board of directors.

Range Resources CEO Jeff Ventura to Retire from Marcellus Shale Pioneer
Range Resources CEO Jeff Ventura (Source: Hart Energy)

Range’s board tapped Dennis Degner, currently executive vice president and COO, to become the company’s next president and CEO.

Ventura joined Range in 2003 as COO after previously serving as president and COO at Matador Petroleum Co. He became Range’s president effective May 2008 and CEO in January 2012, regulatory filings show. According to the company’s latest proxy materials from April 2022, Ventura was 64 years old.

Range said Ventura was instrumental in the discovery and development of the Marcellus, which the company claims to have pioneered in 2004.

“I am very proud of what we have accomplished together, specifically in Pennsylvania, where we pioneered the Marcellus shale and matured Range into a top-ten producer of natural gas and natural gas liquids in the country,” Ventura said in a news release.

Degner will take over leadership duties effective at Range’s annual shareholder meeting on May 10. He will also be nominated for a seat on the company’s board.

“Dennis’ leadership and technical skills have enhanced Range’s operational strategy, performance and company culture,” Ventura said. “He has played a key role in Range’s growth and success over the past decade and is the right leader at the right time for Range.”

Last month, media reports indicated that Permian Basin pure-play Pioneer Natural Resources was weighing a deal to acquire Range Resources.

Pioneer denied the reports and said the company was not “contemplating a significant business combination or other acquisition transaction” in a Feb. 24 press release.

Range Resources did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Hart Energy about the leadership transition or a potential sale.

Range’s sales of natural gas, NGL and oil totaled $4.91 billion in 2022, up from $3.22 billion in 2021, the company reported in fourth-quarter earnings in February. The company’s 2022 net income was $1.18 billion, up 187% year over year from $411.78 million in 2021.