(Reuters) - U.S. oil and gas company SandRidge Energy Inc
LeBlanc replaces James Bennett. Bennett was named chief executive of the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, company last week after the board ousted former Chief Executive Tom Ward.
SandRidge removed founder and CEO Ward last week after a months-long struggle with activist investors who accused him of strategic mistakes and self-dealing at the expense of shareholders. Ward, who was also under fire for his high pay, will receive a severance payment of more than $90 million in cash and stock.
Under Ward, well results from the company's top growth prospect, the Mississippi Lime in Oklahoma and Kansas, disappointed investors. The company's stock has fallen nearly 93 percent over the last five years, compared with a 32 percent drop in the SIG Oil Exploration and Production index <.EPX>.
LeBlanc will start at SandRidge on July 8. He has previously served as CFO at energy companies including East Resources Inc, PostRock Energy Corp, Ascent Energy Co, Range Resources Corp
(Reporting by Anna Driver and Michael Erman in New York; Editing by Gary Hill and Tim Dobbyn)