Leighton Welspun facing manpower vacuum

Vol 17, PW 7 (31 Oct 13) People & Policy

Leighton Welspun managers have been forced to take on extra workload as the company looks for a new CEO.

Leighton has not yet replaced former CEO Senthil Kumar who left the company earlier this year. Kumar was one of five managers to leave the Mumbai-based JV between Australian EPC contractor Leighton and India’s multi-billion textiles to steel Welspun Group.

Managers Abshalome Reuben, Bhavik Shah and Jacob John from business development left Leighton for Australia-based competitor UGL around the same time. Santanu Choudhary also departed as head of finance for oil and gas and is now chief financial officer, also at UGL.

What led to the exodus Senior managers were following their old boss and former Leighton MD Russell Waugh who moved to UGL as COO in August 2012. Waugh left Leighton after an ongoing internal inquiry into the company’s global corporate governance practices.

One departing employee says: "We left for better opportunities. Our positions have been replaced internally.

" Leighton has since appointed company adviser SV Rajadhyaksha as interim CEO. He also heads its offshore business, with the onshore business under Ravi Kumar.

Rajadhyaksha declined to comment when contacted. Leighton has four assignments in India: ONGC’s $256m pipeline replacement project-III, a $91m pipeline replacement project at ONGC’s Heera fields and the $102m phase-II revamp of Heera’s topsides.

At Cairn’s Mangala terminal it is replacing pipelines. Most of Leighton Welspun’s work is traditionally with ONGC.

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