CALGARY, AB, Jan. 27, 2021 /CNW/ - The Board of Directors of AKITA Drilling Ltd. announces that Linda Southern-Heathcott will become Executive Chair and CEO of AKITA Drilling Ltd. following the retirement of Karl A. Ruud as President and CEO on May 15, 2021, after a 45-year career with AKITA and predecessors.

Ms. Southern-Heathcott is a founding director of the Company.  She has been Chair of the Board since May 2006 and was Deputy Chair from 2004 to 2006. "On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to express our sincere appreciation for the tremendous service, commitment, loyalty and leadership that Karl has provided to AKITA. He has always strived for operational excellence and a commitment to AKITA having one of the best safety records in the industry. His contributions to AKITA have been significant and meaningful. During his tenure, Karl nurtured strong relationships with our operators and Indigenous partners. The Board thanks Karl for his 45 years of dedicated service and we wish him well in his retirement," said Ms. Southern-Heathcott.

"I am fortunate to have had a long and gratifying career with a wonderful company and people that align with my values. I have every confidence that AKITA is moving forward with a smooth transition and excellent leadership, and is well positioned for the future," said Mr. Ruud.

AKITA further announces that concurrent with Mr. Ruud's retirement, Colin A. Dease will be appointed President of the Canadian Division of the Company. Ray T. Coleman will continue as President, USA Division.

Mr. Dease was appointed Vice President, Canadian Operations in November 2019, and was previously Vice President, Corporate Secretary and Legal Counsel. Mr. Dease is a director of the CAODC (Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors).

Mr. Coleman has served as President, USA Division since May 2020. Prior to that role, he served as Senior Vice President/Managing Director US Operations and Senior Vice President.

Ms. Southern-Heathcott and Mr. Dease will remain in their current roles until the transition takes place on May 15, 2021.

AKITA is a premier oil and gas drilling contractor with a fleet of 37 rigs. AKITA provides drilling services through two geographical segments: Canada and the United States.

SOURCE AKITA Drilling Ltd.