Government-headhunter PESB on Monday selected the next chairman and managing director of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), in signs that the privatisation of the state-owned oil refining and marketing firm may be delayed. The government had kept the position of chairman and managing director vacant after D Rajkumar retired in August last year. It was thought that the government wants the new CMD to be named after the new management takes over following the privatisation of BPCL.
The newly revamped Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB) on Monday interviewed prospective candidates and selected Arun Kumar Singh for the position, the headhunter said in a notice. Singh is currently Director (Marketing) of BPCL. PESB said it interviewed six candidates, including Singh. All other candidates interviewed were executive director level officers and none had board experience.
"PESB recommended the following name for the post of Chairman & Managing Director, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd - Arun Kumar Singh," the notice said. The government is selling its entire 52.98 per cent stake to a strategic buyer. Three groups, including Anil Agarwal's Vedanta Group, have put in an expression of interest for buying the stake.
The stake sale was to conclude with 2020-21 fiscal, but the outbreak of pandemic has delayed the privatisation. Sources said the new wave of COVID infections has posed fresh challenges for the interested parties to do due diligence and the new deadline of September 30 for the conclusion of the deal may not be met.
After Rajkumar superannuated last year, Director-human resources K Padmakar, who is the senior director on the company board, was given the additional charge of chairman and managing director, they said.