How John Rynd’s industry experience found ways to improve Hercules Offshore in the financial crisis

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Energy Services FINALIST John T. Rynd, president and CEO, Hercules Offshore Inc.
Energy Services
John T. Rynd, president and CEO, Hercules Offshore Inc.

Energy Services
John T. Rynd
President and CEO
Hercules Offshore Inc.

John Rynd’s career started on an offshore drilling rig doing much of the same things his business, Hercules Offshore Inc., does today. From those early roles onboard an oil rig, Rynd worked his way up and became president and CEO at Hercules in 2008.
His leadership at Hercules Offshore has been invaluable throughout the challenges faced over the last several years, ranging from the global financial crisis to an unprecedented slowdown in domestic offshore drilling to the Macondo Well Deepwater Horizon blowout.
The most significant risk and hurdle Hercules and Rynd have faced has been the global financial crisis of 2008. With decreased financial performance, the company was facing the risk of breaking a debt covenant in late 2009 and 2010. The fear that Hercules Offshore would not remain in business was a constant thought in Rynd’s mind, but in an uncertain time Rynd encouraged everyone to remain focused on the things that could be controlled.
In 2011, the company made an investment in Discovery Offshore, a newly formed, pure-play high-specification jackup company. Over the last two years, Hercules Offshore’s ownership in Discovery has grown from 8 percent to 32 percent. This investment gives Hercules the opportunity to participate in the high-end jackup market, leverage its geographic footprint and experience, expand upon its reputation for operational excellence and improve cash flow without significant capital exposure.
Since then the company has announced additional acquisitions that offer further opportunity for the company. Under Rynd’s direction Hercules Offshore was able to further expand its fleet, reduce its cost structure and financial leverage, improve operationally and maintain a stringent focus on safety.
The company’s focus is on staying the course of its mission and not deferring from its core goal of creating value for shareholders despite whatever challenges the economic environment throws in its path. These steps positioned Hercules Offshore to capitalize on the rebound in activity that started in 2012.
How to reach: Hercules Offshore Inc.,