Jagged Peak Energy Inc. (NYSE: JAG) said Feb. 26 Chairman, President and CEO Joseph N. Jaggers is set to retire from the company and named James J. Kleckner as his successor.

Joseph N. Jaggers

In addition, Jagged Peak also said Executive Vice President and COO J. Jay Stratton Jr. has left the company. As a result, Jagged Peak's board elected Craig Walters, previously with Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC), to serve as the company's executive vice president and COO.

Jagged Peak said Jaggers plans to retire at the end of March for "health and personal reasons" from the Denver-based company he founded in 2013 and led through an IPO last year. Kleckner, currently independent director, will become Jagged Peak's president and CEO following an "orderly transition," according to the company press release.

Also as part of the succession plan, current company director Charles D. Davidson will assume the role of chairman. Davidson was formerly CEO of Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL).

Both Kleckner and Davidson's appointments will take effect on the date of Jaggers' retirement. Jaggers is expected to remain full time with the company until his retirement and on a consulting basis thereafter to assist with the transition, the release said.

"On behalf of the board and the entire Jagged Peak Energy team, we thank Joe for his leadership and vision since the company's founding in 2013," Davidson said in a statement. "The company he founded is characterized by exemplary assets and an outstanding organization. He has been a leader in the industry and recognized for his foresight and tenacity in the exploration and development of the Delaware Basin. We wish him the best in his retirement and sincerely appreciate his assistance through this transition."

"I am proud of the growth we have achieved at Jagged Peak and that what we accomplished was done in a spirit of continuous discovery, improvement and efficiency," Jaggers said in a statement. "From a simple beginning in 2013 with an idea and a financial commitment from Quantum Energy Partners, we built a company that today produces over 28,000 net boe per day. However, I will turn 65 later this year and the time has come for me to shift my focus from full-time professional duties to personal priorities. I have known Jim Kleckner for decades and have tremendous respect for his leadership qualities and character, along with the utmost confidence in his ability to lead the company to continued success."

Kleckner was appointed as an independent member of the company's board in January 2017. He retired from Anadarko Petroleum as its executive vice president of international and deepwater operations in August 2016, after serving in various senior level operating positions for Anadarko and its predecessors since 1981. He holds a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.

"Jim Kleckner will join the company as president and CEO after a successful career at Anadarko Petroleum where he led the evolution of the D-J Basin into a major unconventional resource play. I am confident that the experience and skills he brings to the company will drive our future success as we transition to full field development," Davidson said.

During his time at Anadarko, Kleckner helped lead the company as regional vice president of Anadarko's Rockies' operations through a transformation from 2004 to 2013 by investing in several unconventional assets. His leadership helped the company's production grow in the Rockies region to more than 300,000 boe/d from less than 50 boe/d, according to Jagged Peak's press release.

From 1994 through 2017, Walters served in various operational, technical and business development roles at Anadarko Petroleum, most recently as vice president of Rockies operations. He holds a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.

Davidson was appointed as a member of the Jagged Peak board in September 2016. He is a venture partner with Quantum Energy Partners and serves on the firm's investment committee. He served as CEO of Noble Energy from 2000 to 2014 and its chairman from 2001 until his retirement from Noble in May 2015.