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James Bennett named CEO and president, Tom Ward to depart the company

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Staff writer | Oklahoma City, Ok., USA | June 20, 2013
James BennettJune 20, 2013, Oklahoma City, Ok., USA - SandRidge Energy, an oil and gas company, has named James Bennett CEO and president; lead independent director Jeffrey Serota will serve as interim non-executive chairman.
Mr. Bennett has served as chief financial officer of SandRidge since January 2011 and was promoted to president in March 2013. Prior to joining SandRidge he was managing director for White Deer Energy, a private equity fund focused on the oil and gas industry. From 2006 to December 2009, Mr. Bennett was employed by GSO Capital Partners, where he served in various capacities in its energy group, including as a managing director.

His prior experience also includes serving as chief financial officer of Aquilex Services Corp., a First Reserve portfolio company, and as an investment banker in the energy group of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (now Credit Suisse). He started his career at NationsBank.

Mr. Bennett graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in finance from Texas Tech University. He has served on the board of directors of the general partner of Cheniere Energy Partners L.P. and PostRock Energy Corporation.

Mr. Bennett replaces Tom Ward, who founded the company and has served as chairman and CEO of the company since it was founded.

Mr. Ward is a Partner of Chesapeake Investments L.P. Mr. Ward has been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SandRidge Energy, Inc since June 2006. He also served as the Chief Executive Officer of Integra Energy LLC. He co-founded Chesapeake Energy Corp. in 1989 and served as its Consultant since February 10, 2006. He served as the President at SandRidge Energy, Inc. from December 31, 2006 to January 6, 2011 and served as its Principal Financial Officer until January 6, 2011.

Mr. Ward served as an Independent Producer of oil and gas in affiliation with Aubrey K. McClendon from 1982 to 1989. He served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Chesapeake Energy Corp., from 1989 to February 10, 2006. He served as a Director of Chesapeake Energy Corp., from 1989 to February 10, 2006. He serves as a Member of the Board of Trustees of Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana.

Mr. Ward graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Petroleum Land Management in 1981.

Mr. Serota was appointed as a Director on March 20, 2007. He has served as a Senior Partner with Ares Management LLC, an independent Los Angeles based investment firm, since September 1997.

Prior to joining Ares, Mr. Serota worked at Bear Stearns from March 1996 to September 1997, where he specialized in providing investment banking services to financial sponsor clients of the firm. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Marietta Holding Corporation, Douglas Dynamics, LLC, AmeriQual Group LLC, WCA Waste Corporation and White Energy, Inc.

Mr. Serota received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and received a Masters of Business Administration degree from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.