Pioneer Natural Resources said May 7 it has asked nearly a third of its executives to leave their jobs as the U.S. shale producer continues to trim costs and considers selling more assets.
The company expects to save $100 million annually with the job cuts and a new organizational structure, CEO Scott Sheffield, who surprisingly returned to Pioneer in February, said during an earnings call. The Irving, Texas-based oil and gas producer expects to shed the employees on a voluntary and involuntary basis by June 1.
The announcement comes one day after Pioneer Natural Resources Co. completed its transformation into a pure-play Permian Basin company with the sale of its remaining South Texas assets for up to $475 million.
Pioneer also plans to sell its gas processing midstream assets during the year.
Shale firms have pushed U.S. oil output to record levels. But years of heavy spending led to investor pressure to reduce spending and use the cash to pay dividends and repurchase shares.
"The big change is to treat capital just as important as production," Sheffield said.
Pioneer's stock was trading 6.8% lower at $145.71 around midday on May 7 after Sheffield said he did not expect a wave of consolidation in the industry.
Pioneer shares traded at $150.92 the day before the Chevron-Anadarko deal, but closed at $168.32 the day it was announced.
"I didn't come back to sell the company," said Sheffield the company's founder, who returned as CEO after veteran executive Tim Dove abruptly retired in February. "I personally don't think that there's going to be a lot of (mergers and acquisitions) over the next one to two years."
On May 6, Pioneer reported its first-quarter profit jumped to $350 million, or $2.06 per share, from $178 million, or $1.04 per share, a year ago.
The company did not say how many executives will leave and did not respond to a request for comment.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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