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6 Board Members Leave, New Chair Named at Williams Companies

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On Friday, the new chair of Williams Companies was selected following the resignation of almost half of the firm’s board. The mass departure comes just after the collapse of Energy Transfer Equity’s projected $33 billion procurement of the Tulsa-based pipeline company.

In an effort to keep CEO Alan Armstrong on the payroll, Kathleen Cooper was chosen as the new chairperson of Williams Companies. Frank MacInnis, former chair, was one of the six to step down from the board of 13. Williams Companies needs at least five people on the board to continue operating.

The obsolete merger of Dallas’s Energy Transfer and Williams Companies was intended to produce the nation’s biggest pipeline and midstream infrastructure giant. However, the deal fell along with the price of oil and gas.

The members who resigned mostly consisted of those who encouraged the deal with Energy Transfer and desired a new CEO going forward. Williams, however, maintained that MacInnis resigned for “personal reasons.”

Kathleen Cooper is the director of international politics and economics at Southern Methodist. Formerly, she was a chief economist for Exxon Mobil.

The remaining board members released a statement that said they had assessed the leadership in place and decided that Armstrong was still the right person to lead Williams Companies.

“Since Alan was appointed CEO in 2011, Williams has become a best-in-class operator,” the statement read. They also said that Williams Companies “is extremely well-positioned to meet the rapidly growing demand for natural gas and experience significant fee-based growth.”
According to the board, further specifics about the plan will be announced within the next few weeks.

Article written by HEI contributor Briana Steptoe.

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