Ring Energy Inc. on Sept. 30 appointed industry veteran Paul D. McKinney as CEO and board chairman, succeeding the Permian Basin operator’s current chief exec, Kelly Hoffman.

In a statement, Tim Rochford, co-founder and chairman of Ring Energy, explained the decision behind the leadership change was driven by the board’s discouragement toward Ring Energy’s current stock price and the “apparent lack of understanding and appreciation for the value” that he said the Midland, Texas-based company represents.

Rochford continued that he and the board believe that McKinney has the “background, expertise and enthusiasm” necessary to effect the needed change to deal with both operative and investment issues.

“The board concurred with my evaluation that a change in our current approach was necessary and that Paul McKinney had the background, expertise and enthusiasm to effect that change,” he said. “As a co-founder of Ring Energy Inc., I recognize the importance of providing Paul with the flexibility and support required to achieve our shared goals of continued growth, reduction of debt, and ultimately, increased shareholder value. To that end, I have decided to remove myself as chairman of the board, but will remain in an ongoing advisory capacity, working directly with Paul, providing him with the assistance and advice he requires.”

McKinney began his career in 1983 with Anadarko Petroleum Corp., where he held various positions over a 23-year period including as vice president of reservoir engineering for Anadarko Canada Corp. He also spent six years with Apache Corp., where he was responsible for the development and all operational aspects of the Gulf Coast region for Apache.

Most recently, McKinney served as president, CEO and director of SandRidge Energy Inc. He accepted the post in January 2019 and continued there 11 months before resigning in December 2019. He had joined SandRidge from Yuma Energy Inc., where he served as the company’s president and COO.

In his statement, Rochford also thanked Hoffman, who had served as CEO and director of Ring Energy since January 2013, for helping establish Ring as “one of the premier low-cost ‘conventional’ operators in the Permian Basin.”

“Paul’s image of what our company could and should become mirrors both Kelly’s and mine,” he continued. “As large shareholders ourselves, we look at Paul’s appointment as a positive evolutionary step in bringing about the value and respect our company merits and deserves.”

Ring Energy currently operates in the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico with acreage positions in the Northwest Shelf and Central Basin Platform. Earlier this year, the company agreed to divest its position in the Delaware Basin.

In the company release, McKinney remarked: “The Northwest Shelf and Central Basin Plateau are proven assets that offer years of exceptional growth. Ring is a unique opportunity that has an exciting future and I am proud to be part of it.”