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Energy Retailer's Board Removes CEO, CFO in Shake-Up

One of the nation's largest merchant energy marketers, recently renamed and publicly held Commerce Energy Group, Inc., Monday named a new CEO with an extensive energy background, Steven S. Boss. He will bring along a new chief financial officer following last week's removal of the president/CEO and CFO at the Southern California-based firm.

A Los Angeles-based energy attorney in the past year, Boss previously headed the Nevada Energy Buyers Network, which helped large power users line up direct access contracts in Nevada.

Last Thursday, the Commerce Energy Group board announced in a news release that the "company decided to terminate" President/CEO Peter Weigand and CFO Richard L. Boughrum "without cause." Weigand, who headed a Houston-based energy information technology consulting firm, Skipping Stone, that merged with Commerce Energy last year and shortly thereafter was named CEO, will remain a member of the Commerce board.

"Pursuant to terms of the employment agreements for Messrs. Weigand and Boughrum, the termination of their employment will become effective on or about Oct. 8, 2005, although they were relieved of all duties and responsibilities as officers and employees of the company and all of its subsidiaries and affiliates, effective immediately," the announcement said. "The company's board of directors has reserved the right to terminate the employment [of either executive] with cause prior to Oct. 8, 2005 in accordance with the terms of their employment agreements."

An official within the company stressed that the two senior executives were not terminated for cause, and confirmed that Boss had been selected by the Commerce Energy board as the new CEO and he has "brought in his own CFO," although there was no formal announcement from the company on its website Monday. Daily GPI attempted to reach Boss and/or a company spokesperson at the Costa Mesa, CA-based holding company, but was unable to reach either of them.

In last week's announcement by the board, Commerce announced that a consultant to the company, Lawrence Clayton, Jr., was named interim CFO and secretary. The board indicated in that announcement that Clayton would be considered a possible CEO candidate as part of a search firm's look for possible candidates.

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