New Orleans-based Tidewater Inc. announced yesterday that Jeffrey M. Platt has retired from his roles as CEO, president, and a director of the company, and named Larry T. Rigdon as interim president and CEO effective immediately.

"Having successfully completed the financial restructuring of Tidewater at the end of July, which positioned the company to weather current industry conditions and achieve success in the future, the board and I have agreed that the time is appropriate to transition the leadership of the company," Platt said in a statement. Platt worked for Tidewater for 21 years

The company's board of directors has formed a search committee to identify a permanent CEO and president.

Larry Rigdon

"The board and management are excited about Tidewater's future, but there are still challenges that confront Tidewater and all offshore supply vessel companies that must be addressed while we wait for the overall recovery in the offshore energy industry," Thomas R. Bates Jr., chairman of Tidewater's board said in a statement. "Balancing revenues with operating costs to reach cash flow breakeven is one of the most important of these challenges. I am pleased that Larry will be able to bring his vast operating history to Tidewater to lead us in the continuing evolution of the company."

Rigdon, who was appointed to serve on the board following the financial restructuring, is a seasoned executive in the industryHe joined Tidewater in 1992 in the merger with Zapata Gulf Marine and left as executive vice president in 2002 after he did not get the top job at the company. After he left Tidewater, Rigdon founded Rigdon Marine Corp., growing the company to 28 state-of-the-art offshore service vessels. He sold the company in June 2008 to GulfMark Offshore for $150 million in cash and 2.1 million shares of GulfMark common stock. Rigdon currently serves as a director of Professional Rental Tools LLC.

In light of his interim dual role as CEO and president, Rigdon has stepped down from the audit committee and the board has appointed Steven Newman as his replacement.

David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.