SM Energy Co. (NYSE: SM) said April 2 that Anthony J. Best will retire as CEO within the next year, and that the board of directors intends to appoint Javan D. Ottoson to replace him in that role.

Best has been CEO since December 2006 and a member of the board of directors since February 2007, and first joined SM Energy in June 2006 as president and COO, the company said.

Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. said that while the announcement was unanticipated, Best’s tenure and age – he turns 65 later this year – should not be much of a shock.

Best commented, “The time has come for me to shift my focus from full-time professional duties to personal priorities and retirement adventures.”

Ottoson is currently president and COO, the company added, noting that he was appointed president in October 2012. He joined the company in December 2006 as COO and had previously worked at Arco, Pure Resources/Unocal, and Energy Partners Ltd., SM Energy said.

Ottoson holds a bachelor’s of science in chemical and petroleum refining engineering from Colorado School of Mines, the company said.

Denver-based SM Energy Co. acquires, explores, develops and produces oil, natural gas and NGL onshore in North America.