ONGC: Arun Kumar Singh is now CEO as well

More than a month after Arun Kumar Singh was appointed chairman of India’s largest oil and gas producer ONGC, the retired BPCL head is also the CEO of the company now, according to a stock exchange filing by ONGC. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has been traditionally headed by a chairman and managing director. It, however, did not have a full-time head after Shashi Shanker superannuated on March 31, 2021.

The government on December 7 named Arun Kumar Singh, who had a couple of months back retired as head of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), as the chairman of ONGC but not as its managing director.

Now, he has been appointed the CEO of the company as well.

“In continuation of our communication dated December 7, 2022, regarding the appointment of Arun Kumar Singh as chairman of the company. It is informed that the Board at its meeting held on January 24, 2023, has appointed Singh as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Accordingly, Singh is designated as Chairman & CEO of the company,” ONGC said in a stock exchange filing.

Singh, 60, has been appointed for a three-year tenure with effect from the date of his assumption of charge of the post, according to a DoPT order. He took charge on December 7, 2022.

A mechanical engineer from the National Institute of Technology, Patna, Singh was Director (Marketing) of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) from October 2018 to September 2021, after which he was elevated as chairman and managing director of the company.

Singh retired as BPCL head 13 months later in October 2022 after attaining a superannuation age of 60 years. This is perhaps the first instance of a retired executive being appointed as the head of a Maharatna PSU.

A search-cum-selection committee, constituted by the oil ministry, had zeroed in on Singh after interviewing six candidates on August 27, 2022.

Singh was already selected to head the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) before the August 27 interviews.

In his nearly 38 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, he has headed business units and entities in BPCL, such as retail, LPG, pipelines and supply chain optimisation.

He also held the position of President (Africa & Australasia) in Bharat PetroResources Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BPCL, engaged in the exploration of oil and gas, largely overseas, according to information available on the BPCL website.


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