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Seadrill (SDRL) CEO Alf Thorkildsen says he will step down as the company looks to relocate its...

Seadrill (SDRL) CEO Alf Thorkildsen says he will step down as the company looks to relocate its management team outside of Norway. SDRL says Norway's cost level and distance from its core markets make travel and logistics "cumbersome” in managing worldwide operations. New CEO Fredrik Halvorsen has served as interim CEO of oilfield services company Archer since January.
Comments (29)
  • He loves Norway that much?
    3 Oct 2012, 08:46 AM Reply Like
  • Guess my simplistic mind just doesn't understand. Half a dozen of the largest international players out of Norway have more employees than SDRL (from Statoil to Yara) -- and appear to have no trouble managing "cumbersome travel and logistics."
    3 Oct 2012, 08:57 AM Reply Like
  • Yeah something just stinks here and I don't like it...
    3 Oct 2012, 09:04 AM Reply Like
  • right on Mercy
    3 Oct 2012, 12:56 PM Reply Like
  • I'm thinking there are non-business underlying reasons, perhaps personal.
    3 Oct 2012, 09:04 AM Reply Like
  • Where is he stepping down to and why? Could be allot of reasons and the share holders deserve answers. Could be illness as well as all the scarey reasons going around in everyone's minds right now.
    3 Oct 2012, 09:31 AM Reply Like
  • He's going to become a Board member of NATDF:
    3 Oct 2012, 09:38 AM Reply Like
  • I wouldn't read too much into this. JF likes to shake up his management teams. Both are inhouse SDRL guys and stay inhouse but in different capacities. Halvorsen is a Norwegian citizen with residence in the UK so may be a little more mobile. Thorkildsen stays with NADL as CEO so its clear that JF still has lots of confidence in him. I think that Halvorsen may be a little bit more finance focused so might meet JFs goals on building these new drop down entities like the mlp and Seabras. I think this is a neutral move at this time.
    3 Oct 2012, 10:36 AM Reply Like
  • saratogahawk,


    It seems JF is the brains and the most important man behind SDRL, the man who started the company.


    If, JF had to leave would you stay invested in SDRL? I am assuming you are an investor. It causes me a little anxiety that I have to depend on one man for my investment in SDRL.


    Your thoughts, please. If anyone with sound knowledge has an opinion, I would appreciate that also.
    3 Oct 2012, 11:46 AM Reply Like
  • Div1 you pose a tough question. I think that JF is probably the most astute businessman out there right now. He has survived the worst ever downturn in shipping and has built SDRL into the top driller in the world in a few short years. Since he essentially owns a third of SDRL (I don't actually remember the exact amount) I can't see him leaving. I would say that if he sets up other companies I will be looking at them seriously for my money. JF makes and returns huge amounts of money to the shareholders. Much more than Warren Buffet ever has done. I would stay with SDRL because they are the best in the world right now with no real serious challenger in sight.
    3 Oct 2012, 01:23 PM Reply Like
  • Adding to all the speculation I would note that the press release uses the word "terminated", not "resigned" to describe what happened to Thorkildsen. And while he remains a Board member of North Atlantic Drilling that's different than a day to day operations function and it will be interesting to see if he stays as CEO of North Atlantic Drilling as well.
    3 Oct 2012, 10:46 AM Reply Like
  • He is still listed on the website as CEO.


    Alf C Thorkildsen, Chief Executive Officer


    North Atlantic
    Management AS
    3 Oct 2012, 11:00 AM Reply Like
  • I'll pass on SDRL until the smoke clears on this change
    3 Oct 2012, 11:07 AM Reply Like
  • "The Board has after discussions with the CEO of Seadrill Management, Alf C.
    Thorkildsen, mutually agreed to terminate his contract." peculiar wording. It smells of blood on the floor, IMHO ...
    3 Oct 2012, 12:48 PM Reply Like
  • it is a concern, but I think Saratogahawk may have the right slant.
    Perhaps the the translation makes it sound worse than it is. Terminating his contract wouldn't mean as much if he is still a major investor.
    3 Oct 2012, 01:04 PM Reply Like
  • I think they had to terminate the contract technically so as not to create a conflict of interest with Halvorsen's contract as the new CEO. I didn't like the language either but I just don't feel any discomfort with this move in light of Halvorsen's strong credentials and JFs moves to broaden the vehicles that SDRL is using to deliver services. I think this may mean a broader pass down of equipment and contracts is on the way for NADL as well.
    3 Oct 2012, 01:28 PM Reply Like
  • yesterday nobody could spell smorgesbord,today everybody an expert on thorkiltsen
    3 Oct 2012, 02:57 PM Reply Like
  • reader500 if you are referring to me please know that I follow this industry carefully. Any statements I make are with some background and some basis yet are still just opinion. Listen or ignore that is your choice as a reader.
    3 Oct 2012, 07:28 PM Reply Like
  • "Smorgasbord", As this viking spells it. As long as the companys business model remains the same and it doesn't interfere with the dividend, I'm not sure there is any profit in second guessing the reasons for the change. SDRL could provide a little clearer explanation for their shareholders sake. Until they do, I'm long.
    3 Oct 2012, 04:35 PM Reply Like
  • I see it the same, i.e., the business model and the dividends.


    It would be interesting to know which of the posters above are long SDRL, which ones are short, and which ones are hoping for a lower entry point. That would be quite telling.


    Disclosure : I own SDRL.
    3 Oct 2012, 05:16 PM Reply Like
  • Debutant,
    It is not a secret with me -- feel free to take a look at all of my past posts on the subject.


    I was long SDRL and NATDF for a very long time. My first SDRL lot was purchased at $17+ after the GOM explosion -- during a time when not many folks cared about my SDRL posts because they were so unknown in the US. I held large lots in both the US and directly in Norway.


    I sold my SDRL near $41 and my NATDF @$2.12. I have been quite clear in my postings as to why I sold. I am absolutely no longer comfortable with the asset inflows and outflows between SDRL and its subsidiaries. Although I may still do a short term term trade on SDRL I no longer feel comfortable holding it long-term. That's what is right for me -- but I wish anyone with a different point of view all the best.


    And by the way -- read my Bio -- I do not short ANY individual stocks. I only enjoy buying and selling but shorting is not my thing.


    Hope that helps you.
    3 Oct 2012, 05:50 PM Reply Like
  • So, in a nutshell you are not a SDRL shareholder; you sold your shares near $41 and may still do a short term trade on it.
    Yes, it did help in many ways. Thank you.
    4 Oct 2012, 02:57 AM Reply Like
  • Yes that "nutshell" is right, Debutant, except for your one omission -- and that is that I am no longer comfortable with the asset inflows and outflows between SDRL and its many subsidiaries for my own long term hold.
    4 Oct 2012, 07:56 AM Reply Like
  • Sorry about the not one but two omissions, the second one being my thanks to you for twice being the first to bring to everybody's attention here on Seeking Alpha the changes in a company you are not invested in for your own reasons.
    4 Oct 2012, 08:13 AM Reply Like
  • I'm long SDRL and NATDF. As I recall, the percentage of SDRL owned by JF is 28.
    5 Oct 2012, 11:21 AM Reply Like
  • Actually I liked Seadrill stock because Thorkildsen managed the company. Also he has it in his family trust. So I believe he has every to be sure it succeeds. I do not think he will let go so easy..
    3 Oct 2012, 05:39 PM Reply Like
  • Move out of Norway? Think taxes...
    3 Oct 2012, 06:35 PM Reply Like
  • Holding and hoping
    7 Oct 2012, 01:21 AM Reply Like
  • I am long SDRL. Sold it at $40; bought it back in March.
    Like Mercy, I do not do short stocks.
    7 Oct 2012, 10:44 AM Reply Like
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