Callon: Plans to relocate official headquarters will not affect Natchez staff, building

Published 3:00 pm Tuesday, November 13, 2018

NATCHEZ — Callon Petroleum announced today its official headquarters soon would move to Houston, Texas, but the more than three-dozen Natchez-based Callon employees would stay firmly rooted in Natchez.

“In a nutshell, really what this is, is a change of our address for our principal executive offices,” said Callon CEO Joe Gatto. “The post office box will be Houston, but there’s no impact on Natchez. It’s business as usual.”

Gatto said the decision to officially move the corporate headquarter was a natural one that had occurred over time as Callon’s business interests had changed.

“We used to have operations in the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf Coast,” Gatto said. “(Now) all of our assets are in the state of Texas.”

Callon first opened its Houston office in 2001 and over time the majority of its executives have wound up working from there. One top executive works from Natchez and another from Callon’s Midland, Texas, office, Gatto said.

The move will provide a clearer picture of Callon’s operations to investors, Gatto said, adding that through the years the company’s interests in Texas and a headquarters in Natchez often caused some confusion.

“We would get a lot of questions from people who would say, ‘So you’re a west Texas company, but you’re based in Natchez, Mississippi, help me understand that.’”

Callon’s Natchez staff, which numbers just less than 45 employees, will continue to operate from its building on Canal Street.

“We’re not doing anything with the real estate, we’re not asking anyone to move,” Gatto said.

He said the company would continue to keep the corporate headquarters signage on the Natchez building.

“It will always be our historic headquarters,” he said.

Despite the move of its business interests to Texas, until the unexpected death of former Callon CEO Fred Callon in 2017, Callon had kept his own offices in Natchez along with the company’s accounting and other back-office functions such as IT.

Gatto said the company still mourns Callon’s loss but that the decision to relocate the headquarters was one that likely would have occurred even if Fred Callon were still alive.

“There was a business shift that was occurring even when Fred was with us,” Gatto said. “Over time, I think there would have been an impetus to move the office even with Fred with us.”

Gatto said Callon’s Natchez team is invaluable to the company.

“Since 2015, we’ve grown our Natchez employee base by about 10 percent,” he said. “We have a lot of seasoned folks there, a lot of them in accounting.”

Gatto said many of the Natchez team has been integral to the company as it shifted its business interests from offshore exploration to onshore ventures.

Gatto said he believes Callon Petroleum’s future is bright as is its continuing presence in Natchez.

“We’ll need to continue to build accounting and back-office functions over time,” he said.