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Parker Drilling CEO resigns; chairman is temp sub

HOUSTON (AP) -- Parker Drilling Co. said Tuesday that its president and chief executive is leaving to pursue other interests. The chairman and former CEO will fill in as the company's head while the oil and gas driller looks for a replacement.

Parker Drilling shares lost 34 cents, or 5.4 percent, to $6.02 in late morning trading. The stock was already down 11 percent in 2012.

The Houston-based drilling contractor has posted a net loss for the past two years, deepening to $50.5 million in 2011 from $14.5 million in 2010. Parker Drilling also said in February that its effort to launch new drilling technology on Alaska's North Slope was taking longer and was more expensive it had expected.

Parker Drilling said Tuesday that CEO David Mannon leaves on Friday. Mannon joined the company in 2004 as senior vice president and chief operating officer, before becoming president and 2007 and CEO in 2009.

Robert Parker Jr., Parker Drilling's executive chairman and previous CEO, will act as president and CEO while the company searches for a permanent new leader. He'll continue serving as chairman during that time.

Parker joined the company in 1973 and was CEO from 1991 to 2009.