New Delhi: Mining baron Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Tuesday announced the appointment of Ajay Kumar Dixit as the CEO of its oil and gas arm, Cairn, replacing Sudhir Mathur who has quit the company unexpectedly.
"Ajay (Kumar Dixit) brings 39 years of rich experience in the energy sector and joined Vedanta in 2015 from Siemens where he was CEO - Energy for South Asia," the company said in a statement.
He will replace Mathur, who, after seven years with the company, "moves on to pursue personal endeavourers", it said.
An alumnus of Delhi College of Engineering, Dixit served as the acting chief executive officer (CEO) of Vedanta's aluminium and power business before being elevated to this new role.
"He brings deep experience in strategy, operations, technology, finance, and regulatory affairs. His leadership will support Cairn's vision to realise the full potential of Barmer block, grow the offshore business, appraisal of new blocks (won) under Open Acreage Licensing Policy-I and Discovered Small Field-II round," the statement said.
Mathur is the fourth CEO to quit the firm since it was taken over by Vedanta seven years ago. He resigned about a month ago and his resignation was made public only this month.
Mathur, 58, joined Cairn India in January 2013 and was named interim CEO when Mayank Ashar resigned as the chief executive of the company in May 2016.
He continued as interim CEO till the time Cairn India remained a separate listed company under Vedanta. He was elevated as the CEO of oil and gas business at Vedanta last year when Cairn India was merged with its parent firm Vedanta.
Rahul Dhir, the company's first CEO who oversaw its listing and development of India's biggest oil discovery in Rajasthan, quit the company in August 2012. His successor P Elango resigned in May 2014, while the third CEO Mayank Ashar resigned in May 2016.
Speaking on the appointment of Dixit, Vedanta CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan said, "Ajay has a deep understanding of our business and the markets we operate in. He is a dynamic and values-driven leader with an impressive track record of delivering consistently high-quality performance in a safe and sustainable way."
He thanked Mathur for all his contributions and wish him the very best in his future.
Dixit said, "I have been closely watching and admiring Cairn's spectacular performance and it is a privilege for me to lead this business. We will continue to invest systematically and bring in world-class technology to further strengthen our India exploration footprint."
He also said that the company's focus will remain on exploration and production in innovative and sustainable ways.
Cairn produces about 2 lakh barrels of oil equivalent per day, which is about 25 per cent of India's crude production, and has the vision to take up its contribution to 50 per cent.
The company has planned investments worth USD 3.5 billion in the next 3-4 years which will significantly ramp up its production.