Transocean Ltd. announced that J. Michael Talbert has advised the Board of Directors that, if reelected at the company's upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) on May 17, he will retire from the board no later than the company's 2014 AGM.
To facilitate an orderly transition of leadership, should Mr. Talbert be elected by the Board as Chairman following the upcoming AGM, he will step down as Chairman no later than the Board's November 2013 meeting, at which time a new, independent Chairman will be announced. Mr. Talbert, formerly CEO of Transocean from 1994 to 2002, has served on the Board of Directors since 1994.
Mr. Talbert said, "I am honored to have served Transocean, and to have done so as a member of a very knowledgeable and experienced Board of Directors. During my 20 years at Transocean, I have worked diligently to represent the best interests of all of our stakeholders. In this spirit, and after consultations with our shareholders, I have decided to retire from the Board on a timetable that will allow the Board to carefully select a new chairman who will help guide the company in the creation of sustainable, superior value for all shareholders."
The Board of Directors issued the following statement:
On behalf of the Board, our shareholders, employees and other stakeholders, we would like to thank Mike for his many years of service to the company, including eight years as CEO and three terms as Chairman, and we look forward to continuing to work with him until his retirement. In conjunction with the Board and management, Mike had the vision to transform Transocean into the world's leading offshore driller with the most capable fleet in the industry. In addition, he helped shepherd the company through the extraordinarily challenging period following the Macondo incident and was, and continues to be, instrumental in guiding management in the creation and implementation of key operational initiatives that are positively impacting the company's performance. His contribution to the Board will be sorely missed.
"Mike's deep industry and company knowledge, thorough understanding of the value we provide our customers and consistent, strong leadership have played a very important role in making Transocean the company it is today," said Steven Newman, CEO of Transocean. "I want to personally thank him for his mentorship, counsel and guidance, particularly during the difficult period following the Macondo incident, and I look forward to continuing to benefit from his leadership until his retirement."
The company's Corporate Governance Committee intends to promptly commence a process to identify a candidate to fill the vacancy resulting from Mr. Talbert's retirement from the Board. As it conducts this process, the Committee will take into consideration the views of the company's shareholders. This process will be consistent with Transocean's historical focus on regularly infusing fresh perspectives into an experienced and knowledgeable Board as evidenced by the fact that, if elected, current Board nominee Frederico Curado will be the seventh independent Director to be added to the Board during the past two years. Among other characteristics, the Committee will seek a clearly independent candidate with the relevant skills, character, diverse background and global experience to enhance the Board's decision-making process and to further its objective of creating value for shareholders.