Kvaerner president and chief executive Erik Tonseth resigned on Wednesday only a week after he had insisted that he was staying.
The board of the Anglo-Norwegian engineering and construction group asked him to go, however. It had apparently lost confidence in his ability to administer a programme of disposals needed to cut the group’s Nkr12bn (£975m) debt.
Board chairman Christian Bjelland said: ‘The implementation of that strategy has not been good enough.’
He added that growth by acquisition a Tonseth policy is no longer on the agenda as Kvaerner reorganises around core activities.
Kvaerner has been under fire since poor interim results on 2 September. Its shares crashed to Nkr70k from a peak of Nkr400 a year ago.