November 6, 2012 / 5:58 PM / 5 years ago

Penn West shares fall as senior managers depart

* COO, three other VPs leave company

* Company offers no explanation for departures

* Shares down 2.8 pct

CALGARY, Alberta, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Penn West Petroleum Ltd shares were down as much as 4.7 percent on Tuesday after four senior managers, including the chief operating officer, left the company.

Penn West, one of Western Canada’s largest conventional oil producers, said in a release that Chief Operating Officer Hilary Foulkes left company “effective immediately.”

Thane Jensen, Penn West senior vice-president operations and engineering; James Burns, vice-president, corporate planning and Wendy Henkelman, vice-president, treasury, also left along with Foulkes.

Foulkes had been in charge of Penn West’s asset sale program, including the C$1.3 billion ($1.31 billion) sale of non-core properties to undisclosed buyers announced last month.

Penn West, whose president Murray Nunns described Foulkes as “wizard in the industry” on a conference call last week, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Foulkes departure surprised observers.

“We thought she was a valuable part of the (management) team,” said Matt Donohue, an analyst at UBS Securities.

Penn West shares were down 33 Canadian cents at C$11.27 by midday on the Toronto Stock Exchange, after earlier touching C$11.05.

The shares have dropped 38 percent over the past 12 months, while the exchange’s main energy index fell 8.5 percent over the same period. ($1 = 0.9949 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Scott Haggett. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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