Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta’s oil and gas division Cairn will see a high-profile exit with its Chief Executive Officer Ajay Kumar Dixit set to end his term later this month a year after taking charge.
Dixit will be the fifth CEO to leave India's largest private sector oil company, since Agarwal's Vedanta took over in 2011. Cairn Oil & Gas said in a statement that Dixit is superannuating from the company at the end of his five-year term at the group in May.
Though Vedanta Resources announced the acquisition of 58.8 per cent of Cairn India from Cairn Energy for $8.67 billion in August 2010, the acquisition got completed in December 2011. In April 2017, Agarwal completed the merger of Cairn India with Vedanta, following which the former got delisted from the BSE.
The other four CEOs leaving the company after Vedanta acquisition include Rahul Dhir in August 2012, P Elango (interim CEO) in May 2014, and Mayank Ashar in June 2016 and Sudhir Mathur in April 2019. Dixit, who was CEO of aluminium and power divisions of Vedanta, took charge of the oil and gas division after Mathur's exit.
Sunil Duggal, Group CEO, Vedanta Ltd., said, “Ajay has been leading the oil and gas business and digital transformation, driving production to serve the energy needs of the nation, including through recent oil price volatility and the Covid-19 pandemic. The management wishes him the very best.” Cairn’s Management Committee will continue to drive the oil and gas business under the overall leadership of Sunil Duggal, the statement added.
Dixit earlier served and contributed significantly to growing Vedanta’s Power, Alumina & Bauxite, and Aluminium businesses. “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to lead several key businesses at Vedanta from 2015 till now, most recently oil and gas. It has been a privilege to work with some of the finest teams, delivering to Vedanta’s vision of making India self-sufficient in the natural resources sector. I wish the Group, and the teams I have worked with, even greater success in the days to come”, said Dixit.
Cairn Oil & Gas is the largest private oil and gas exploration and production company in India, accounting for more than a quarter of India’s domestic crude oil production. It has interests in 58 blocks in India, including the 41 blocks under the Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) Round I auction, five blocks each under Round II and Round III, and two awarded under the Discovered Small Fields (DSF) Round-II. In 2004, Cairn made the largest onshore discovery in more than two decades in India at Mangala, Rajasthan. In its operations of 20 years, Cairn has opened four frontier basins with numerous discoveries, 38 in Rajasthan alone.