Amid slumping oil prices, Transocean CEO agrees to resign

IndustriesAssociated Press

The chief executive of Transocean Ltd. has agreed to resign as the head of one of the world's largest oil drilling rig companies.

Steven Newman endured a rocky five years leading Transocean, which has seen its stock price more than halve since June to $19.05 as oil prices have plunged. The company also ran for BP the troubled Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, killing 11 workers and prompting Transocean to reach a $1.4 billion settlement with the U.S. government.

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In a statement announcing Newman's departure, effective Monday, the company described that period as "unquestionably the most challenging" chapter in the history of Switzerland-based Transocean.

The company's chairman, Ian Strachan, will serve as interim CEO until a permanent replacement for Newman is found.

Transocean will also slash its stock dividend to 15 cents a quarter from 75 cents.