OKLAHOMA CITY, Jan. 29, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gulfport Energy Corporation (Nasdaq:GPOR) ("Gulfport" or the "Company") today announced that James Palm, the Company's Chief Executive Officer, has informed Gulfport of his decision to retire from the Company on February 15, 2014. In addition, Mr. Palm will resign from the Company's Board of Directors effective February 15, 2014. David L. Houston, Chairman of the Board, commented, "Jim's exceptional leadership has been a key contributor to the success of Gulfport. Gulfport's executive team has done a remarkable job at creating value for our stockholders and I am proud of the accomplishments we achieved together through the years. On behalf of the Board and the Company, I would to thank Jim for his many years of service and I wish him the best in his personal and professional endeavors." James Palm, Gulfport's Chief Executive Officer, said, "It has been an honor to spend the last eight years as the Chief Executive Officer of Gulfport. I am extremely proud of Gulfport's evolution as a company. When I joined Gulfport, the Company had a market capitalization of $200 million and was trading in the over-the-counter market. Today, the Company has a market capitalization of nearly $5 billion and trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. Gulfport has been transformed from a Southern Louisiana pure play to a Company with substantial assets in the heart of the Utica Shale and interests in the Permian Basin and Canadian Oil Sands. Gulfport is strongly capitalized and well positioned for continued growth and success. I feel privileged to have worked beside an outstanding management team and exceptional employees and will continue to be an avid supporter and stockholder of the Company." Gulfport's Board of Directors has begun a search for Mr. Palm's successor. The Board intends to conduct a review of both internal and external candidates. During this interim period, Michael Moore, the Company's President and Chief Financial Officer, will assume management responsibilities associated with the office and act as interim Chief Executive Officer pending the conclusion of the Board's search.