Boart Longyear CEO Craig Kipp has made a surprise resignation following the company’s move to slash spending for the rest of 2012.

In a statement today Boart Longyear, one of the world’s largest drilling companies, said Kipp’s resignation would be effective immediately and chairman David McLemore would step in as acting CEO.

“The board would like to thank Mr Kipp for his leadership and accomplishments,” the company said.

“During his tenure with Boart Longyear, Craig has led the company’s transformation into the global industry leader and standard setter it is today.”

Earlier this year Boart Longyear lifted first half net profit by 32 per cent but cut capital expenditure for the rest of 2012 by eight per cent.

Boart’s share price fell more than 50 per cent after it revised its capex in August, and while the stock has waged a minor recovery it’s still far below the highs reached earlier this year.