UPDATE 1-California Resources picks interim CEO for top job

(Updates with background)

March 22 (Reuters) - U.S. oil and gas producer California Resources said on Monday it had appointed interim chief executive officer Mark McFarland as the head, effective immediately.

McFarland, who has served on the company’s board since its emergence from bankruptcy in October 2020, was appointed interim CEO in December, following the departure of Todd Stevens.

“Mac is stewarding ongoing efforts to reduce costs and optimize the operating portfolio with the core objective for CRC to become a lean and efficient operator producing robust cash flow,” James Chapman, lead independent director, said.

California Resources filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July last year after defaulting on interest payments following a slump in oil prices. (Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)