- Capricorn Energy’s director of finance, Clare Mawdsley, will serve as acting CFO following the departure of current CFO James Smith, the company announced Monday, in an update ahead of its preliminary full year results.
- The interim announcement follows a year of shakeups for the Edinburgh, U.K.-based company, which recently appointed six new members to its board as well as a new interim CEO and new board chairman. The company has also recently terminated mergers with two fellow gas companies, including Israeli gas firm NewMed and London-based oil company Tullow Corporation.
- For the year ending Dec. 31, 2022, Capricorn Energy reported net cash of $597 million ahead of providing its full year results, it said Monday. In April the company’s new board is set to provide a strategic update on its “assets, cost base and future strategy of the business” during its full year results.
A 10-year alum of the energy firm, Mawdsley first joined Capricorn Energy as a senior tax advisor before taking on the role of director of finance in December 2021, according to her LinkedIn profile. Prior to joining Capricorn, Mawdsley served as senior manager, corporate tax for big four accounting firm Ernst & Young for a nine-year period.
Capricorn is one of several companies to have recently tapped an internal candidate as its interim financial leader. Several firms, notably SelectQuote and food supplier Cargill, have also since appointed their interim leaders to permanent CFO roles, with Cargill alum Joanne Knight taking the company’s top financial seat following just a month after she was named acting CFO.
Mawdsley will take over as acting CFO from James Smith, who has remained in the role on a transitory basis since early February. Smith, who will “shortly” leave the company according to the Monday update, originally resigned from the role during a shareholder tussle regarding Capricorn’s proposed merger with gas company NewMed, based in Israel, according to a Feb. 3 report by Reuters.
Capricorn decided mutually to terminate its merger with Israeli company NewMed on Feb. 15, according to a company update. Proxy advisors Glass Lewis and ISS both advised against the merger, but were in favor of the board changes.
Company shareholders confirmed six new directors to its board on Feb. 1, proposed by activist investor Palliser. The six new directors joined two sitting members, with the company also appointing a new chairman and appointing new nominee Chris Cox as its interim CEO. At that time, the new board also noted it would be launching a “comprehensive strategic review of Capricorn’s business and the several potential directions for the future of the Company.”
The company will provide an update on the review — which included, “ as an immediate priority, an assessment of the future cash needs of the business,” according to Capricorn — during its full year results in April, it said.
Capricorn reported $137.4 million in revenue for the six months ending June 30 2022, according to its half-year results published in Sept 6, with $55.6 million in gross profit.
Capricorn Energy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.