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UPDATE 1-Golar LNG says CEO resigns, shares tumble

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(Adds shares, background)

April 12 (Reuters) - Golar LNG said on Monday Chief Executive Officer Iain Ross had resigned, after nearly four years with the energy firm, sending its shares down nearly 5%.

The company did not provide a reason for Ross' departure.

Golar said it would immediately start the search for a new CEO, adding Ross' contractual termination period of six months can be prolonged or reduced upon mutual agreement.

Ross, who took up the top job in September 2017, had been an executive with Australian industrial engineering company WorleyParsons Ltd before joining Golar.

Golar said it was currently in the final stages of closing the sale of its 50% interest in Hygo Energy Transition Ltd and 32% interest in Golar LNG Partners LP to New Fortress Energy.

Hygo, a joint venture between Golar and U.S. private equity firm Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, appointed Paul Hanrahan as chief executive officer last year after his predecessor, Eduardo Antonello, stepped down amid a Brazilian corruption investigation.

The move was part of Golar's effort to prevent the probe from disrupting the expansion of liquefied natural gas use in Brazil. (Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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