IOC director A K Singh to head Petronet LNG

New Delhi, November 9 dmanewsdesk:  Indian Oil Corp (IOC) director-pipelines Akshay Kumar Singh will be the new managing director and chief executive of the country’s biggest gas importer, Petronet LNG Ltd.

Singh replaces Prabhat Singh who completed his five-year term on September 13.

“The board of directors of PLL has selected Akshay Kumar Singh for the post of MD & CEO, PLL in its board meeting held on November 4, 2020,” Petronet LNG Ltd (PLL) said in a brief notice on its website.

The selection marks Singh’s return to the gas business. He was executive director at state-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd before joining the IOC board in 2018.

A mechanical engineer from MIT, Muzaffarpur (Bihar) and a post-graduate from South Gujarat University, Singh has about 34 years of experience in the oil and gas industry.

Sources said he was selected by a search-cum-selection committee of the PLL board.

Of the 11 candidates called for the interview by the panel, 10 turned up including V K Mishra, director finance and interim MD at PLL, GAIL director finance A K Tiwari, ONGC Videsh Ltd director finance Vivekanand, ONGC director finance Subhash Kumar, Chennai Petroleum Corp Ltd managing director SN Pandey, GAIL director marketing ES Ranganathan, OIL director HR Biswajit Roy, Indraprastha Gas managing director A K Jana and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) chief general manager Amit Garg.

IOC director marketing Gurmeet Singh did not appear for the interview.

Petronet is a joint venture of IOC, GAIL, Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and BPCL. The four state-owned firms hold 12.5 per cent stake each in the company whose chairman is the Oil Secretary.

Among those on the interview panel were IOC Chairman S M Vaidya, ONGC chairman Shashi Shanker, GAIL chairman Manoj Jain, BPCL director marketing Arun Kumar and former OIL chairman S K Srivastava, an independent director at Petronet-LNG.

Sources said the new CEO was selected after Petronet board modified terms that made just retired executives of PSUs ineligible.

“The candidate should be aged minimum of 48 years and maximum of 60 years on the date of vacancy i.e. September 14, 2020,” the notice inviting application issued in August had said.

Also, the “applicant must, on the date of application, as well as on the date of interview, be employed in a listed company with a turnover of Rs 5,000 crore or more,” it had said.

This was a new clause and essentially barred executives of promoter firms who retired just before the interview by the search committee on October 30, they said.

The ’employment status’ was not an eligibility criterion when past CEOs including Singh were appointed.

“The position carries an attractive perquisite which includes retiral benefits, performance incentive, company vehicle, medical facility, post-retirement medical scheme, group term-life insurance, group personnel accident insurance, etc, as per company’s policy,” the notice had said.

Petronet operates liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal at Dahej in Gujarat and Kochi in Kerala. The Mumbai listed firm had a turnover of Rs 35,000 crore in FY20.

Source: PTI

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