Our Bureau

New Delhi, Aug. 30

The suspense over who will be the chosen one to head the State-owned ONGC more less ended on Wednesday with Mr R.S. Sharma, Director (Finance) of the company, emerging as the clear winner. Mr Sharma, who took charge as acting Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of ONGC on May 25 following the end of tenure of Mr Subir Raha, is understood to have come out as the first choice for the post by Public Enterprise Selection Board (PSEB).

The panel interviewed over a dozen candidates. Mr A.K. Hazarika, Director (Onshore), was tipped to be the panel's second choice. The PSEB recommendation would now go to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) for necessary clearance and approval. Almost 16 people had applied for the post, of which 12 were short-listed for interview.

Apart from Mr Sharma and Mr Hazarika, all the functional Directors of ONGC, including Director (Exploration), Mr D.K. Pande; Director (Offshore), Mr N.K. Mitra; Director (Human Resource), Mr A.K. Balyan, and Director (Technical), Mr U.N. Bose, also appeared for the interview. However, Mr R.S. Butola, Managing Director of ONGC Videsh Ltd, and the Director General of Hydrocarbons, Mr V.K. Sibal, opted out of the contest. Two Directors from GAIL (India) Ltd Mr U.D. Choubey, Director (Marketing), and Mr M.R. Hingikar, Director (Human Resources) also appeared for the interview.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 31, 2006)
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