Valaris Limited (VAL) ("Valaris") announced that Mr. Tom Burke will step down from his position as President and Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors, effective September 2, 2021. The Valaris Board of Directors has appointed Mr. Anton Dibowitz, a current Board member, as interim President and Chief Executive Officer effective September 3, 2021. Mr. Burke will continue to support Valaris for a period to ensure a smooth leadership transition for the Company. He also will remain on the Board of Directors of ARO Drilling, a 50/50 joint venture between Valaris and Saudi Aramco.
Further, Valaris announced that Mr. Jon Baksht will step down from his position as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective September 2, 2021. The Valaris Board of Directors has appointed Mr. Darin Gibbins, the Company’s Vice President – Investor Relations and Treasurer, as interim Chief Financial Officer effective September 3, 2021.
“Anton brings more than twenty years of experience in the offshore drilling industry to the CEO role,” said Elizabeth Leykum, Chair of the Board. “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.”
Mr. Dibowitz commented, “My time on the Valaris Board of Directors has only served to reinforce my understanding of Valaris as a world-class organization. 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.”
Ms. Leykum further commented, “We are grateful to Tom and Jon for their valuable contributions to Valaris. They successfully led us through a prolonged and challenging downturn in the energy sector, establishing Valaris as a sound and financially stable entity. We thank them for their leadership and wish Tom and Jon the best going forward.”
Mr. Burke commented, “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."