The board of directors for WPX Energy Inc . (NYSE: WPX) appointed Richard E. Muncrief as its president and CEO, the company said May 1. He assumes the role May 15, the company added, noting that he will also join the board on May 22.

Muncrief will replace James J. Bender in the roles, the company said, noting that Bender has filled them on an interim basis since Dec. 2013. During the search process, WPX retained the Spencer Stuart recruiting firm, the company said.

Muncrief, a petroleum engineer, has more than 30 years’ experience in upstream and midstream, and most recently was senior vice president of operations and resource development for Continental Resources Inc . (NYSE: CLR), WPX said. He joined Continental in 2009, the company added.

Prior to that, he had spent 27 years with ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) and also had worked for Burlington Resources Corp . and its predecessor, WPX noted.

“Rick has an accomplished record of sizing things up and driving plans that produce exceptional results, profitable growth and lower costs,” said WPX chairman William G. Lowrie .

Lowrie continued, “He has prior experience in our growth areas, particularly the Williston and San Juan basins, and is ready to hit the ground running.”

“Our board believes that Rick is going to connect very well with investors and employees alike as he charts a strategic course for WPX. His technical acumen, driven nature, operations experience and character are a great fit for shaping the future of the company,” Lowrie added.

Muncrief holds a bachelor’s of science in petroleum engineering from Oklahoma State University, the company said.

“There’s an innovative spirit at WPX,” Muncrief said.

He added,“I expect WPX to succeed and I’m eager to become part of the company. We have much to leverage from WPX’s assets and the contributions of those who helped forge the company into a leading independent producer.”

Tulsa-based WPX Energy Inc. explores and produces domestic natural gas, NGL and oil.