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June 20 (Reuters) - Cenovus Energy Inc said on Tuesday Chief Executive Brian Ferguson will step down in October and the Canadian oil company also laid out plans to sell $4 billion to $5 billion in non-core assets by the end of the year.
Ferguson has led Cenovus since its inception in 2009. The board will begin a global search for a new CEO, Cenovus said.
The proceeds of the asset sale will be used to reduce debt after Cenovus paid about C$17 billion ($12.8 billion) last month to buy ConocoPhillips’ western Canadian oil sands assets.
The ConocoPhillips deal effectively doubled Cenovus’s assets, a move the company has said would allow it to utilize economies of scale to lower costs.
But some investors have complained that the deal was too pricey. Cenovus is holding a shareholder meeting on Tuesday to convince investors of the value of the deal.
The company may sell its Palliser and Weyburn assets in a deal that could be announced in the fourth quarter, outgoing CEO Ferguson said on a conference call with investors.
Other possible sales include undeveloped oil sands and the Marten Hills assets, Ferguson said.
Cenovus’s shares have fallen about 40 percent since the ConocoPhillips deal to just above C$10, wiping out $6.7 billion in market value.
($1 = 1.3247 Canadian dollars)
Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru and Ethan Lou in Calgary; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar