Satish Pai drops out of ONGC chairman race

Vol 20, PW 18 (01 Jun 17) People & Policy

After rumours he was destined to win, Satish Pai has surprised everyone by abruptly withdrawing from the ONGC chairman race.

PESB sources tell us Pai inexplicably "recalled" his application at the last minute and does not figure on a list of 11 names under consideration as it prepares a final shortlist for interviews this month (June). "He (Pai) might have changed his mind," we hear.

Others speculate Pai is happy with his Rs14cr ($2m) salary as managing director of Mumbai-based aluminium rolling company Hindalco and doesn't want to risk an interview for the ONGC position only to be told he hasn't won. Such an outcome would hit his reputation.

With Pai out, candidates left in the race are ONGC director technical and field services Shashi Shanker; Mumbai High asset manager and executive director Rajesh Kakkar; Neelam asset manager and executive director AJ Morbale; Bassein asset manager and executive director SK Moitra; Oil India director business development and HR Biswajit Roy; GAIL executive director AK Singh; IOC executive director Dr. Stephen Giridhar; IOC executive director Avinash Verma; Housing and Urban Development Corporation chairman and managing director Ravi Kanth; Balmer Lawrie chief Prabal Basu; and SCI director finance Harjeet Kaur Joshi, the only female candidate.

OVL director finance Vivekanand Sharma is no longer a contender. A final shortlist and interviews are expected shortly.

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