Rowan, Blue Harbour Agree to Add Szews to Board of Directors

  • Activist with 8 percent stake supports the board nominee
  • Charles Szews is the former chief executive officer of Oshkosh

Rowan Cos., the drilling-services provider that counts activist Blue Harbour Group among its biggest shareholders, agreed to add Charles Szews to its board.

The activist fund run by Cliff Robbins owns about 8 percent of Rowan and supports the nominee, according to an updated 13D regulatory filing Tuesday.

Szews is the former chief executive officer of Oshkosh Corp., a manufacturer of emergency equipment and trucks. Rowan provides contract drilling services and manufactures equipment for the drilling, mining and timber industries.

Typically a “friendly” activist, Greenwich, Connecticut-based Blue Harbour agitates for shareholder-rewarding changes behind the scenes, shunning hostile tactics such as proxy fights and lawsuits. Unlike many activists, Blue Harbour rarely puts its affiliates on boards.

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