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Cairn India's Rahul Dhir steps down

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on Wednesday said Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) had quit the company to pursue “entrepreneurial interests”. Dhir, the face of Cairn India since the company was listed in early 2007, quit eight months after Vedanta completed the acquisition of the company.

He, however, would be in office till the end of this month.

“The search for Dhir’s successor is underway and an announcement is expected soon. During this intervening period, the board has appointed

P Elango, director (strategy and business services) and a member of Cairn India’s executive committee, as interim CEO. Elango, an experienced oil & gas veteran, has been with Cairn for over 15 years,” the company stated.

On June 15, 2011, had quit as Cairn India executive director and chief operating officer, while Indrajit Banerjee had resigned as executive director and chief financial officer with effect from August 23, 2011. Recently, had quit as Cairn India’s director of exploration and new ventures.

Early this year, Dhir had raised Rs 51.26 crore by selling 2.24 million stock options. As on March 31, he was among the company’s top 20 shareholders, with 0.18 per cent equity holding, valued at about Rs 114 crore.

It is unclear if Dhir’s exit violates the preconditions set by the government for Vedanta Group’s takeover of Cairn India. Among other conditions, the government had stated would have to retain Cairn India’s management team for three years.

Dhir, 46, a Wharton graduate and an India-born British national, had joined Cairn in 2006. Earlier, he headed the energy and power investment banking business at Merrill Lynch.

“We have achieved all major milestones set at the time of the IPO (initial public offering). With the completion of Vedanta’s acquisition, Cairn India’s exceptional organisation and unique asset base are well placed to continue to deliver sustainable growth and value for our nation and all our stakeholders. This is the right transition point for me to pursue my entrepreneurial interests,” Dhir said.

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