Cobalt International Energy Inc. CIE, -2.23% on Tuesday named former BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP, BHP.AU) veteran Timothy Cutt its new leader, replacing Chief Executive Joseph Bryant, who has resigned.
Shares in the company, which sank to fresh record lows Friday and have erased 80% of their value over the past year, added 5.3% to $2.18 in early trading.
Though Mr. Bryant’s resignation from his three posts–CEO, chairman and board member–is effective Wednesday, Mr. Cutt will take the helm in July. In the meantime, William Utt, the company’s lead independent director, has been appointed interim chairman, and Van Whitfield, chief operating officer, will take on the role of interim CEO. Mr. Whitfield has been appointed to the board.
Mr. Utt pointed to Cobalt’s transition from exploration to production, saying, “Tim is the right executive to come aboard at a critical time for the company.”
Mr. Cutt, 56 years old, most recently headed BHP Billiton’s pretroleum operations, from 2013 until this past March. He joined the mining heavyweight in 2007 as president of the production division in the petroleum business. Previously, Mr. Cutt spent a 25 years at Mobil Oil Corp. and then Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM).
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