Valaris CEO Steps Down

Valaris CEO Steps Down
Valaris Limited (NYSE: VAL) has announced that Tom Burke will step down from his position as president, chief executive officer and member of the board of directors.

Valaris Limited (NYSE: VAL) has announced that Tom Burke will step down from his position as president, chief executive officer and member of the board of directors on September 2.

The Valaris board has appointed Anton Dibowitz, a current board member, as the company’s interim president and chief executive officer, effective September 3. The business revealed that Burke will continue to support Valaris for an undisclosed period “to ensure a smooth leadership transition for the company”. Burke will also remain on the board of directors of ARO Drilling, which is a 50/50 joint venture between Valaris and Saudi Aramco.

Additionally, Valaris announced that Jon Baksht will step down from his position as executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective September 2. Darin Gibbins, the company’s vice president of investor relations and treasurer, has been appointed as Valaris’ interim chief financial officer, effective September 3.

Burke became president, chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors in April 2019 in connection with the Ensco-Rowan combination. He previously served as Rowan’s president and chief executive officer, as well as a director, since April 2014. Dibowitz is described as a highly experienced executive with more than 20 years of drilling industry expertise. The incoming CEO, who joined the Valaris board of directors in July this year, previously served as an advisor of Seadrill Ltd from November 2020 to March 2021, and as its chief executive officer from July 2017 to October 2020. Dibowitz has also previously worked for Transocean Ltd. and Ernst & Young LLP.

Baksht also became the Valaris executive vice president and chief financial officer in connection with the EnscoRowan combination. Previously, he served as Ensco’s senior vice president and chief financial officer since November 2015. Baksht has also previously held the position of senior vice president at Goldman, Sachs & Co.

“Anton brings more than twenty years of experience in the offshore drilling industry to the CEO role,” Elizabeth Leykum, the chair of the Valaris board, said in a company statement.

“His familiarity with our business, customers and culture combined with his extensive industry expertise will allow him to continue to build upon our positive momentum and solid foundation. We look forward to working closely with Anton, Tom, Jon, Darin and the entire Valaris executive team to ensure a smooth transition,” Leykum added in the statement.

Commenting on his new role, Dibowitz said, “during this transition, we will maintain our focus on our top priority of delivering safe and efficient operations for our customers, who continue to validate our position as the offshore driller of choice, having awarded Valaris more than 20 new contracts or extensions, with associated backlog in excess of $1.3 billion, since early May”.

“With the strongest balance sheet in the offshore drilling sector, unmatched scale and geographic diversity, and a modern, best-in-class fleet, Valaris is well-positioned to take advantage of strategic opportunities and a steadily improving market,” he added.

The outgoing CEO, Burke, said, “I appreciate the opportunity to have been CEO and to have worked with all of the great employees of Valaris and its outstanding leadership team”.

“Together, we have navigated one of the most difficult downturns our industry has ever faced – and we came out positioned for success. I am proud of the Valaris team, its resilience and great potential, and I depart the company knowing that the business is strong, in good hands and has a bright future,” he added.

Valaris describes itself as the industry leader in offshore drilling services across all water depths and geographies. The company’s fleet comprises 13 drillships, five semisubmersibles, 36 jackups and two deepwater managed units, Valaris’ website shows.

To contact the author, email andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com


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