Tullow Oil has appointed Rahul Dhir as its new chief executive as the troubled exploratory firm overhauls its business amid the coronavirus oil crash.
Dhir, who is currently the chief executive of Africa-based oil firm Delonex, joins Tullow as the firm cuts a third of its workforce and seeks to raise $1bn from the sale of its assets.
Tullow swung to a $1.7bn pre-tax loss in 2019, with shares sinking nearly 95 per cent in the last 12 months.
Shares in the Africa-focused firm fell a further 10 per cent this morning, to £15.90.
In the firm’s latest results in March, net debt dropped from $3bn to $2.8bn but the $100m dividend was suspended.
Volatility in the world oil markets also saw Tullow Oil’s free cash flow fall 13 per cent to $355m (£272m) in 2019 from $411m in 2018.
Prior to his role at Delonex, Dhir ran Cairn India for six years, during which time he delivered operated production of over 200,000 barrels of oil per day with operating costs of less than $5 per barrel of oil.
He said: “I am very excited at the opportunity to lead Tullow and re-establish it as an iconic company in our industry.
“The company has high-quality assets and great people. It also has a unique position in Africa, built on a proven track record of responsible operations, strong relationships and a commitment to sustainability”.
As a result of his appointment, Dorothy Thompson, who has been running the company as executive chairman since former chief Paul McDade stepped down in November, will revert to her role as non-executive chairman.
Thompson said: “I am delighted to welcome Rahul to Tullow and am very pleased that he has accepted the position of chief executive.
“His oil and gas, financial and African experience combined with his record of strong leadership made him the stand-out candidate for the board”.