David Dickson, the CEO of McDermott International, has resigned with immediate effect. Non-executive director, Lee McIntire becomes the interim CEO. Mr. McIntire joined the Board in July 2020 and was the CEO of CH2M Hill, a global engineering services company from 2006 to 2014.
Mr. Dickson had been the CEO since December 2013. He presided over the disastrous acquisition of CB&I in May 2018 for $4.1 billion. Cost overruns on some major projects led to a $2.1 billion write down in goodwill 7 months after acquisition. McDermott filed for bankruptcy in January 2020 and exited 6 months later, having eliminated $4.6 billion of debt.
In April 2021, a judge in the Southern District allowed a class action lawsuit against McDermott and Mr. Dickson to continue. The plaintiffs allege that CB&I hid $1 billion of cost overruns at the time of acquisition though Mr. Dickson told investors that McDermott had performed significant due diligence and priced in potential risks. You can read the judge’s opinion here.
Bonuses for Mr. Dickson
The company is now private so it does not have to disclose the terms of Mr. Dickson’s departure. When the company exited Chapter 11, it was obliged to negotiate a new severance and change-of-control agreement with the executive management team. Mr Dickson’s old contract would have paid 250% of his base salary of $1.1 million and target bonus.
When the company filed for bankruptcy in January 2020, the company filed an employee retention plan that suggested a target bonus for Mr. Dickson of $6.3 million in 2020 (max bonus could have been $12.6 million). Again as the company is private, we don’t know how much Mr. Dickson was paid. 3 months prior to filing, Mr Dickson was awarded $3.375 million in cash bonuses.
Executive management turnover
Most of the executive management team that was at the company when it exited Chapter 11 have now left;
- Chris Krummel, appointed CFO in Nov 2019 – replaced by Dennis Kelleher in March 2021.
- John Freeman, Chief Legal Officer – replaced by Rachel Clingman (ex Noble) in April 2021.
- Brian McLaughlin, Chief Commercial Officer.
- Tosha Perkins, HR – duties absorbed by Gentry Brann (Senior VP, People, Culture & Communications).
- Linh Austin, VP Middle East & North Africa – duties absorbed by Tareq Kawash.
- Ian Prescott, VP Asia Pacific – replaced by Mahesh Swaminathan in April 2021.