Premier Oil Jumps in London Trading After CEO Lockett Steps Down

Premier Oil Plc (PMO) rose the most in more than two years in London trading after Simon Lockett said he was stepping down as the explorer’s chief executive officer.

Lockett’s decision to quit follows investor discontent about the company’s performance, Deutsche Bank AG said in a note to investors. Premier said last month oil production in 2014 would miss the company’s target after disruptions to fields in the U.K. North Sea and Vietnam.

Premier shares rose as much as 9.2 percent to 292.7 pence, making it the best performer in the U.K.’s FTSE-250 index. It was the biggest intraday gain since Sept. 27, 2011. The stock traded at 292.1 pence at 10:04 a.m. London time.

“By stepping down now, Premier has potentially avoided a repeat of last year’s AGM where registered votes against key resolutions suggest a lack of investor support,” Deutsche Bank analyst Lucas Hermann said in today’s note.

Premier said Lockett will stay on while the board seeks a replacement and would act as an adviser to the company’s directors while they seek a new CEO.

Lockett joined Premier in 1994 from Royal Dutch Shell Plc, according to the company website.

“After nine years, I believe now is an appropriate time for a change in leadership as the business moves into its next phase,” Lockett said today in a statement. “I am also looking forward to pursuing new business opportunities.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Will Kennedy in London at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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