Surprise winner B. Ashok new IOC chairman

Vol 17, PW 6 (17 Oct 13) People & Policy
     

B.

Ashok will soon be catapulted from the role of executive director to head India's largest state-owned refiner IndianOil. Ashok, in charge of retail sales, was selected from six candidates by the PESB on October 9.

GAIL chairman BC Tripathi was rumoured to be leading the race but did not show up for interview. “We were surprised when Tripathi didn’t turn up,” says an IOC source.

“It is good news that an insider has been selected.” Company sources say the PESB's decision resulted from a meeting between the IOC officer's association and oil minister Veerappa Moily on October 4.

“We told Moily the company’s performance could be negatively affected if a chairman was chosen from outside,” says one officer. Soft-spoken and accessible, Ashok is a mechanical engineer and the most senior of four EDs interviewed.

He has 32 years’ experience at IOC and became retail head in May 2012. Before that he headed the firm's business in Karnataka for three years.

During this time, according to sources, he may have built contacts close to oil minister Moily who is also from Karnataka. Ashok joined IOC in 1981 as a trainee and has experience in training, corporate communications, business development, and marketing.

He is steeped in IOC's ethos from childhood - his father too was an IOC employee. Ashok lacks technical experience but knows the company inside out, say sources.