Petronet CEO not to get extension; Oil Min looks for new CEO

Wednesday, Mar 4, 2015,19:26 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | The Oil Ministry has decided not to extend tenure of Petronet LNG Ltd’s CEO A K Balyan till his superannuation in July 2016 and has instead begun search for the new head of the India’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) importing firm.
Balyan was appointed Managing Director and CEO of Petronet for a five-year term beginning July 16, 2010, with the condition that it could be extended till his superannuation age of 65 years.
Sources said the ministry, whose secretary is the Chairman of the company, has decided against giving Balyan, who turns 64 in July, an extension. Instead, it has called for applications from candidates with exceptional leadership qualities, strong negotiation and communications skills and familiarity with finance/project management in large organisation to fill the vacancy.
The candidate, who should be no more than 60 years in age as of today (March 4, 2015), should have been on board of private or public sector energy company. Services officers in PSUs and government can also apply.
Sources said the ministry is keen to appoint a new MD before Oil Secretary Saurabh Chandra retires at the end of April. The new candidate, however, will takeover only from July 16.
Balyan, who was then Director for Human Resources and Business Development in Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), was in May 2010 selected for the top job at Petronet by a panel consisting of the heads of the promoters of the company.
Besides ONGC, Indian Oil Corp (IOC), GAIL India Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) hold 12.5 per cent stake each in the company which operates two LNG import terminals in Gujarat and Kerala. GdF of France holds 10 per cent stake.
Balyan had replaced Prosad Dasgupta, who took early retirement. Dasgupta’s five-year term was to come to an end on August 31, 2010 and was eligible for a two-year extension till he attained superannuation age of 65 in 2012.
The post of MD and CEO of Petronet carries a remuneration five times the salary of a PSU chairman. Moreover, the retirement age at Petronet is 65 as against the retirement age of 60 years in PSUs. In 2013-14, Balyan got Rs 82.78 lakh as remuneration.
The age condition may mean that only a couple of directors from ONGC, one each from GAIL, HPCL and Engineers India Ltd and two from Oil India Ltd besides the incumbent directors of Petronet, apply for the job. Suresh Mathur, who was the first MD and CEO of the company, was the only one to have served till his superannuation age of 65 years.