Nikolas Tavlarios steps down as president of Aegean Marine Petroleum

Senior management team to oversee the business until a new president is appointed.

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Updated on 01 Jun 2017 12:20 GMT

Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. has announced that E. Nikolas Tavlarios has resigned as president, effective immediately, following a week that has seen the company's share price slump to less than half of its previous value.

Tavlarios, who is to act as a consultant to the company to facilitate the transition, is said to have stepped down "by mutual agreement with the Board of Directors".

Aegean confirmed that an "interim leadership team" comprising members of the company's senior management has been formed to oversee the business until a new president is appointed, and that a "comprehensive search process" is under way to identify a new president. Internal and external candidates will be considered, Aegean said.

Peter C. Georgiopoulos, Aegean's chairman, remarked: "The Board is confident that the interim leadership team will effectively manage the business and execute on our strategic initiatives to drive improved performance and value creation at Aegean. We are focused on ensuring that Aegean will continue to succeed in an evolving global market. We are implementing our plan to shift towards a more asset-light model and enhance efficiency across our operations, including reducing annual operating expenses by $20 million by June 2018. We remain committed to serving customers across our global footprint as a leader in the physical supply and marketing of marine fuel and continuing the success that Aegean has achieved."

Georgiopoulos added: "On behalf of the Board and management team, I want to thank Nick for his leadership and contributions to Aegean and wish him well in his future endeavors. We appreciate Nick's willingness to continue as a consultant to the company as we conduct our CEO search and implement a smooth transition to new leadership."

Drop in share price following Q1 results

The decision for Tavlarios to step down follows a significant drop in Aegean's share price on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) since the release of the company's first-quarter results last week, which saw net earnings fall 88.1 percent to $1.354 million, year-on-year, despite a 102.5 percent increase in revenue and a 5.6 percent rise in sales volume.

On the day following the release of Aegean's results on May 23, the share price plummeted more than 30 percent to below $7. By the close of trading yesterday, the value of each share had dropped further, to $4.60.

As previously reported by Bunker Index, Aegean announced plans, on May 25, to reduce annual operating expenses by $20 million by June 1, 2018. The plan, according to Aegean, is focused on marketing several vessels for sale and/or charter, reducing operating expenses and limiting its exposure in underperforming markets.

The bunker firm expects the majority of the $20 million cost reductions to be achieved in the second half of 2017.