Transocean CEO Steven Newman. Image courtesy of TransoceanValue/Youtube.

Transocean CEO Steven Newman stepped down as president and CEO Monday after leading the Switzerland-based services player for nearly five years.

Newman’s resignation is effective as of February 16.

Transocean chairman Ian Strachan will serve as interim CEO until a permanent replacement is found.

“In addition to leading Transocean through company- and industry-changing events following the Macondo well incident, Steven initiated essential changes that have and will continue to improve the company’s fleet, operations, cost structure and long-term competitiveness,” Strachan said.

Strachan has served as a director of the company since 1999 and as chairman of the board since May 2013.

He has served in a variety of leadership positions including 16 years at Exxon Corporation.

Services companies have been hit hard by plummeting oil prices.

Earlier this month Fitch Ratings downgraded its outlook for Transocean to negative from stable citing weak oil prices and curbed drilling activity.

Transocean booked a $2.2 billion loss in the third quarter of 2014 along with a $2.8 billion write off against goodwill and other assets, the Wall Street Journal said.

Shares in the company have fallen by nearly 60 percent since June.

Last year a federal judge found that Transocean was 30 percent culpable for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill.

The company owned the Deepwater Horizon rig that was contracted to BP to drill the Macando well in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

Transocean was found to have been negligent but not reckless in the accident that left 11 people dead and caused the largest oil spill in U.S. history.


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