Ocean Rig in management shake-up following restructuring

Offshore driller Ocean rig has made several major management changes, following completion of financial restructuring.

The driller, which completed its debt restructuring back in September, announced on Friday, December 29 the changes to the company’s CEO, CFO, and COO.

Pankaj Khanna has been appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer of the company effective January 1, 2018. According to the company, Khanna has 29 years of varied experience in the maritime & offshore industry. He last served as Chief Executive Officer of Pioneer Marine Inc, a drybulk company that he founded in 2013.

Prior to his position at Pioneer Marine Inc., Khanna served as Chief Marketing Officer at Ocean Rig UDW Inc. from January 1, 2012 to October 2, 2012.

Khanna served as the Chief Operating Officer of DryShips, Inc. from March 2009 to October 2, 2012. Prior to joining DryShips, he served in C-Suite roles at Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd and Alba Maritime Services S.A. He has also served as Vice President of Strategic Development at Teekay Corporation, from 2001 to 2007. Prior to this, he served as a Senior Analyst at SSY Shipbrokers and worked on cargo ships as a deck officer.

Iraklis Sbarounis has been appointed Chief Financial Officer of the company effective January 1, 2018.

Sbarounis will also continue to serve as a Director and Secretary of the company. Prior to his current positions, he held the position of Vice President Business Development at the company. Prior to joining Ocean Rig, Sbarounis held various positions with shipping entities controlled by George Economou, dealing with commercial, investment, and corporate finance matters, on the shipping and offshore sectors. He started his career in investment banking with BNP Paribas.

David Cusiter has been appointed as Chief Operations Officer of the company effective November 25, 2017.

Cusiter has been in the offshore industry for 28 years. He joined Ocean Rig in 1996 as Chief Engineer and took over the positions of Technical Section Leader, Technical Superintendent, Project Manager, Project & Engineering Manager, Technical Manager, VP Technical, VP Engineering & Projects, VP New Buildings & Special Projects.

Josselin Gere will remain as Vice President Marketing and Contracts and will report directly to the Chief Executive Officer. Anthony Argyropoulos will remain as Special Advisor Capital Markets to the Chief Executive Officer.

Anthony Kandylidis has been appointed Executive Vice Chairman of the Company effective January 1, 2018 and remains a Director of the company.

The position of Executive Vice President will be discontinued effective March 31, 2018 and the functions will be consolidated in the responsibilities of the Chief Operations Officer.

George Economou, Chairman of the Company commented: “We are pleased to announce the strengthening of our management team in our efforts to streamline our operations and bring focus to the development of Ocean Rig post-restructuring.

“The team under the guidance of Mr. Kandylidis and myself will focus on navigating the Company through the next chapter of our history as we enter 2018 with optimism and in a prime position due to our strong balance sheet and modern fleet to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. We will continue to focus on maximizing shareholder value through this cycle.”