Billionaire wildcatter Harold Hamm is stepping down as chief executive officer of Continental Resources Inc. and will become executive chairman of the shale-oil producer he founded over five decades ago.
Board member William Berry will take over as CEO at the start of next year, according to a statement released Wednesday. Jack Stark, currently president of Continental, will become chief operating officer.
Hamm, who famously wrote his ex-wife a check for almost $1 billion to settle their divorce, has been CEO of Continental since he founded it in 1967. The bulk of Hamm’s fortune is tied to Continental’s stock: He held 77% of the company’s shares as of June and has a net worth of $9.9 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Hamm, 74, said in a video posted online. “I love this business, I love this company.”