SDX - Where are the CEO interviews?



For months we have been told that bringing South Disouq online would be transformational for SDX. Two days ago came the big announcement by RNS that this milestone had been achieved. Following this sort of major news for the company you would expect the CEO or at least someone from the company to be giving interviews to the usual investment websites banging the drum about the company’s achievement.
Paul Welch for all his faults would at least have done this.
We now have a newly appointed CEO, so where is he and what media interviews has he done? Well as far as I can see a big fat zero.

Then they wonder why nobody is interested in buying the share. I can’t believe that people in their position cannot see this is the best opportunity of 2019 to promote the company; it is this years major achievement for SDX Energy.

You have to surmise that they don’t want to promote the company or raise awareness of the share. Surely this is exactly the moment to tell the market that they have delivered on this project.


On Thursday 24th October the share price closed at 22p. The next day the drilling campaign in Morocco was announced and since then the big news of the year South Disouq is producing gas. At the time of writing the share price has rocketed to 23p.

In terms of promoting these two items of major news SDX have held an investor call.

We are still waiting for any media interview by the new CEO to promote the company. As many of these are conducted over the phone he doesn’t even need to leave his office but still nothing.

The Q3 2019 results will be released in the next couple of weeks but there will be nothing of note in them. The main bit of news will be how much cash in the bank they have left after the latest spending. I suspect these results will go out without any interviews taking place, so just how long after taking over as interim CEO and now the appointed CEO will investors have to wait to hear just one interview promoting the company?

Mark Reid took over as interim CEO June 1st 2019, so he has held the office of CEO for 5 months 2 weeks. As yet no media interviews.


With the Q3 results announced today we now have had three big announcements from SDX in a short period.

  1. The commencement of a 12 well drilling campaign in Morocco. (25/10/2019)
  2. South Disouq online and producing gas (12/11/2019)
  3. The Q3 2019 Financial and Operational results (22/11/2019)

All three announcements have been announced by RNS and have had absolutely zero effect on the share price. To promote these three big events neither our CEO nor any other spokesperson for SDX has taken part in even one promotional media interview.

If any shareholder did believe that the management of SDX gave a damn about the lowly share price, surely this appalling lack of interest in promoting the company will have killed that off.

In any year a company gets a few opportunities to bang the drum about the company’s achievements. In 2019 Q4 is that period for SDX.
To just sit in their ivory towers and assume that just putting out the required reports is going to convince investors to part with their money is naive in the extreme.

I hope investors remember this when the AGM comes round and the board suggests giving the CEO and senior management excessive shares under a performance related bonus scheme to ensure they remain incentivised.
When we have seen our share price drop by a third and the management won’t get off their backsides and do anything to promote the company, I for one would be voting against any bonus being allocated.

Almost 6 months in office and our CEO has STILL not condescended to give any media interview of any kind. Any future bonus share schemes should be related to share price performance only, if we suffer then so should they.

This media silence over this crucial period convinces me more than anything else that there is something going on in the background to take this company private.
The only other explanation would have to be they have no idea how to successfully promote a company and if that is the case they shouldn’t be in charge.

This could end up being a long thread


Well Mark Reid has now been the CEO of SDX Energy for 6 months and still hasn’t given even one investment media interview.

His 2018 CFO salary was US$333,700 but presumably his salary now will have increased to the same level as the previous CEO’s salary, which in 2018 was US$450,000.

A pay rise of US$116,300 or £90,000 a year!

Currently he has gone from being a fairly anonymous CFO to a fairly anonymous CEO.

Nice work if you can get it.

From the table above, Mark Reid’s pay rise on promotion is actually more than the salary of the next highest paid Director, Michael Doyle our Non-Executive Chairman

To anyone who thinks I am being harsh on our new CEO, if he had done a few investment media interviews following the announcement of the milestone announcement of South Disouq producing its first gas and the share price had remained unaffected by the news, I would not have criticised him.

In that scenario I would have said, he has tried to draw a line under the PW debacle, promote the company’s achievements and outline the prospects going forward.
If the CEO does everything he can and the market doesn’t respond, he can at least face his shareholders and say that he has tried.

Mark Reid cannot do that because he hasn’t made that effort

On the 1st August 2017 Mark Reid as CFO was awarded 555,555 shares in the company under the Long Term Incentive Plan

Under that scheme the announcement said

“It is important to note that stretching strategic, operational, financial and shareholder return performance criteria must be met for the options to vest. The Company recognizes the need to ensure that Executive Directors and key employees from its operational, commercial, technical and financial divisions, who are critical to executing SDX’s strategy over the next phase of its development, are retained and incentivized to generate long term value for shareholders.

Thankfully no award was made in 2018 but watch out at the next AGM for any vote or mention of another award for Mark Reid’s achievements in 2019. The stretching shareholder performance criteria mentioned for the options does not apply to the basic award, which they receive come what may.

Why we would want to retain and incentivize someone who has had a £90,000 pay rise yet still doesn’t fulfil the full range of duties is beyond me.

I am pleased to see investors on other boards are also now asking the question

Where are the CEO media interviews?


In my opinion this company is run for the long term benefit of the two top shareholders.


But where is the benefit? ESP with the sp in terminal decline!


As I said, long term benefit.



Mark Reid CEO must be grateful that SDX do not have 250 employees or he would have had to explain how he has fulfilled this duty in the 2019 Annual Report, that would have been a very brief paragraph.

The Half Yearly and Q3 Financial and Operating Results have been announced without the need to give interviews. Similarly the start of a 12 well drill campaign did not warrant a media interview.

What was really surprising though was that when the biggest news item for SDX in probably the last two years happened, first gas at South Disouq, there was again media silence.

What is strange is that on the SDX Twitter feed Mark Reid himself is quoted as saying

Mark Reid, CEO (1/2): “Achieving first gas at South Disouq earlier this month was a major milestone for SDX and it is anticipated to have a material impact on the Company’s cash generation going forward.”

Definition of milestone: a significant stage or event in the development of something.

This wasn’t just a significant event though, it was a major significant event.

If such a major event doesn’t warrant the CEO promoting the company by giving media interviews, then it is very difficult to see what in terms of company news would.

In terms of a listed UK Company what is bigger than a major significant event?

I am struggling to think of anything bigger, especially when as he says it will have a material impact on the Company’s cash generation going forward.

Perhaps he doesn’t see himself as the public face of SDX or he doesn’t think it is part of the CEO job description.