Michael C. Linn, who founded Linn Energy LLC in 2003, is retiring from the company and is stepping down as executive chairman at the end of the year. Linn is to continue to serve as a director. Linn President and CEO Mark E. Ellis is to add the role of chairman to his responsibilities. Under Linn’s leadership, the Houston-based producer became the first publicly traded exploration and production (E&P) limited liability company in 2006 (see Daily GPI, March 9, 2007). The company now has an enterprise value of close to $10 billion with focus areas in the Midcontinent and Permian and Williston basins, as well as Michigan and California — “far more successful than I ever envisioned,” said Linn. Linn Energy grew from a “small company in Pittsburgh, with a few natural gas wells and three employees, to a company that ranks among the largest independent E&P companies in the U.S. and has 800 employees across the nation. Throughout that growth, we have increased our quarterly cash distribution to unitholders by more than 70%,” Linn said.

Rick George, who has been CEO of Calgary’s Suncor Energy Inc. for 21 years, plans to retire in May. “Rick has shown exceptionally strong leadership, helping to transform the company from an oilsands pioneer into Canada’s largest energy company,” said Chairman John Ferguson. “During his 21 years as CEO, Suncor has implemented game-changing technologies, merged with Petro-Canada and increased production nearly ten-fold from 58,000 b/d in 1991.” The merger with Petro-Canada in 2009 created Canada’s largest energy company (see Daily GPI, March 24, 2009). COO Steve Williams, who joined the company in 2002, has been appointed president and a member of the company’s board effective immediately; he is to assume the role of CEO when George steps down.

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