Two new ONGC board directors selected by PESB

Vol 15, PW 18 (22 Mar 12) People & Policy

As we predicted, PK Borthakur has leapfrogged over three ONGC colleagues to win the director offshore position after interviews at the PESB on March 6.

Borthakur, 58, defeated ONGC executive directors AK Gupta and JG Chaturvedi; as well as Ajai Kumar, an ONGC general manager on loan to state-owned Scooters India as CMD. Borthakur is currently Mumbai High asset chief and has a background as a production engineer, like Sudhir Vasudeva, who vacated the director offshore role to become chairman last October.

Vasudeva’s support ensured Borthakur the director offshore job, believe some. Ajai Kumar, a general manager, was first on the list of interviewees because of his position as Scooters India CMD but, “nobody really expected him to win”, says a source.

Borthakur’s name must be cleared by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet before he can take charge. If all goes well, he is expected to step into his new role by May, giving him less than two years until he retires aged 60 in January 2014.

Meanwhile, K. Satyanarayana, a group general manager, was selected to become the next director onshore after PESB interviews on March 9.

Satyanarayana manages ONGC’s Tripura asset and has more than three years before retirement in October 2015. He succeeds AK Hazarika, who retires in September.

Satyanarayana’s selection was a major disappointment for five ONGC colleagues placed before him on the list of interviewees: Scooters India CMD Kumar; ONGC executive director Ashok Varma (CEO of ONGC-owned Imperial Energy); and executive directors AK Mishra, Krishna Pratap, BK Baruah and Ajit Kumar. Some say Satyanarayana was backed by oil minister Jaipal Reddy, a fellow native of Andhra Pradesh, but others insist he won the director onshore job on his merits as he is a, “very good crisis manager.