Story from Houston Business Journal
Charif Souki, Cheniere Energy Inc.’s former chairman, president and CEO, will not cut all ties with the Houston-based energy company just yet.
Souki, who was announced to have been terminated from his positions on Dec. 13, will remain on the company’s board of directors, according to a Dec. 15 filling with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission.
In an interview with Bloomberg News, Souki said the company does not have the authority to remove him from the board because it is an elected position. Souki said he plans to remain on the board at least until June when the elections occur.
Not long ago, Souki was one of the highest-paid public company CEOs in the country. Reports had surfaced that the strong-willed CEO had clashed with billionaire activist investor Carl Ichan, who has continued to up his stake in Cheniere (NYSE: LNG) since August.
Icahn offered notes of praise and analysis with an edge on his website in reaction to the news of Souki’s replacement.
“At this time, there is also little doubt that the board wished to move the company in a direction that differed greatly from the path Mr. Souki wanted,” the post read. “It is also telling that Mr. Souki sold a great deal of his stock, which made it somewhat easier for him to ‘swing for the fences’ making it a win-win for Mr. Souki but not necessarily for the shareholders,” Icahn wrote, referring to the 50,000 Cheniere shares that Souki offloaded in November.
Meanwhile, the first portion of Cheniere’s major LNG production facility near the Sabine Pass export terminal in the Gulf Coast region is near completion. Souki told Bloomberg News that the first shipments of LNG will go out in the third week of January, with production slated to begin in the last week of December.