DryShips COO steps down

Oct 3 (Reuters) - Greece-based drybulk shipper DryShips Inc

said its chief operating officer Pankaj Khanna stepped down to pursue other interests.

DryShips, which is considered to be a bellwether stock for shipping, said his duties will be absorbed by the existing management team.

Khanna will also step down from his position as the chief marketing officer of Ocean Rig UDW Inc , the drilling unit of DryShips.

He has been the COO at DryShips since March 2009 and the marketing head of Ocean Rig since January this year.

Khanna has over 19 years of experience in the industry and was the chief strategy officer at Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd

before joining DryShips.

DryShips shares were down 1 percent at $2.27 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq. Ocean Rig shares were trading 3 percent down at $15.98.

(Reporting By Vishal Krishnan Menon in Bangalore; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal)

((vishal.krishnan@thomsonreuters.com)(within U.S. +1 646 223 8780)(outside U.S. +91 80 4135 5047)(Reuters Messaging: vishal.krishnan.reuters.com@reuters.net))