Vasudeva shadow on ED appointments at ONGC

Vol 15, PW 5 (08 Sep 11) People & Policy

ONGC is facing problems filling senior vacancies because of continuing uncertainty over the fate of director offshore Sudhir Vasudeva and his appointment as next chairman.

Board directors usually lobby hard to have their protégés appointed to Executive Director (ED) positions, under the watchful eye of the chairman, currently AK Hazarika. “But Hazarika is only interim chairman so he doesn’t have the same weight as a full-time CMD,” reports a source.

“His board colleagues are unwilling to agree ED appointments until a full-time chairman is appointed.” Power vacuums are spreading throughout ONGC as a result, say sources.

Take the Dehradun-based ONGC Academy, which trains newly-recruited ONGC staff. It has been virtually ‘headless’ for the past two months since Tarun Chakraborty was moved to Mumbai as ONGC chief laboratories.

“Group general manager drilling SKD Saini is holding additional charge as chief of the ONGC Academy in the interim,” we learn. A vacuum is also reported at the Neelam and Heera fields offshore Mumbai, without an asset manager since July when NV Subramaniam retired.

And ONGC’s eastern onshore Karaikal asset is without a chief since Akbar Vazirullah retired on August 30. There’s likewise no clarity on who will replace Biplab Guha when he retires in November as ONGC’s head of foreign company joint ventures, supervising ONGC interests at the PMT fields, Ravva, Rajasthan and PY-3.

Nor has any progress been made on selecting a replacement for PSSN Kutty after he retires in December as head of ONGC’s Western Offshore Basin. ONGC usually selects replacements for ED posts at least six months before any expected vacancy so the newcomer can familiarise himself with the assignment before taking charge.