Offshore support vessel industry veteran Larry T Rigdon has been named chairman of the board of US-based Tidewater Marine, replacing Dr Thomas R Bates Jr, who recently resigned from the board
The move comes just two months after Quintin V Kneen was named Tidewater president and chief executive, following John Rynd’s retirement. Mr Kneen has been aggressively reshaping the company’s management structure and shoreside operations to improve efficiency, reduce costs and prepare for the OSV market upturn.
“Market conditions across all of our operating areas are showing signs of recovery,” said Mr Kneen. “Although the industry remains oversupplied, the potential to create long-term value through consolidation and disciplined capital management is clearer today than it has been in the past five years,” he added.
Well known in the offshore oil and gas industry as an innovator and entrepreneur, Mr Rigdon received the Offshore Support Journal Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 for his more than 40 years of service to the offshore oil and gas industry. He has long been associated with Tidewater, both as a member of the executive team and a respected competitor. He has been a member of the Tidewater board of directors since August 2017 and served as interim chief executive of the company from October 2017 to March 2018 while Tidewater searched for candidate to fill the position after the retirement of former chief executive Jeff Platt.
Mr Rigdon had previously joined Tidewater in 1992 upon its merger with Zapata Gulf Marine Corp. After successive roles of increasing responsibility, he left Tidewater as executive vice president in 2002 after being passed over for the top job. Not ready to retire, Mr Rigdon formed his own offshore support vessel company, Rigdon Marine Corp, growing its fleet to 28 platform supply and fast crew supply boats, chartering vessels to BP, Shell and ExxonMobil. Rigdon Marine used OSV designs incorporating diesel-electric propulsion and dynamic positioning class 2 capability, offering improved fuel efficiency, safety, manoeuvrability and cargo-carrying ability.
In June 2008, he sold Rigdon Marine to GulfMark Offshore, Inc, holding a position as a member of its board until 2010. Mr Rigdon also currently serves as a director of Professional Rental Tools, Broussard, Louisiana.
Upon being named chairman, Mr Rigdon, said he was “thrilled to be taking over the leadership of the Tidewater board at this important time in the company’s history.” Added Mr Rigdon, [Mr Kneen] is already doing a fantastic job in leading Tidewater with improved capital discipline and accountability, more efficient operations and expanding strategic opportunities.”
In a move to be more “cost-efficient” and “responsive,” Tidewater is also paring down its board from 10 members to seven at its next annual stockholders meeting. The Tidewater board had expanded to 10 members when it merged with Gulfmark Offshore in November 2018.
The board has already been reduced from 10 to eight members, following the resignations Dr Thomas R Bates Jr and Steven L Newman.
In connection with these changes, the board has appointed, effective immediately, Randee E Day, chairwoman of the nominating and governance committee, Louis A Raspino, chairman of the compensation committee and Dick H Fagerstal, chairman of the audit committee.
The seven directors the Tidewater board intends to nominate for election at the 2020 annual meeting of stockholders are: Ms Day, Mr Fagerstal, Mr Kneen, Mr Raspino, Mr Rigdon, Robert P Tamburino and Kenneth H Traub.
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