NEW DELHI: GAIL Chairman and Managing Director BC Tripathi is leading the race to become the next Chairman of Indian Oil Corp, the nation's largest oil firm.
Tripathi and 10 other candidates have been called for interviews by government headhunter Public Enterprise Selection Board (PSEB) on October 9 to decide who will head IOCBSE 0.63 % when incumbent R S Butola superannuates on May 31 next year.
Official sources said none of the IOC's seven directors are eligible as they do not have the requisite two years of remaining service for being considered for the top job.
The current IOC board comprising a Chairman and seven functional directors, will retire between May 2014 and October 2015.
Tripathi, 53, who is known for giving a vision to GAIL and turning it into an aggressive gas retailing firm, is the senior most among the 11 candidates shortlisted for interviews on October 9. He was the youngest chief executive of a Navratna PSU when he took over as the Chairman and Managing Director of gas utility GAIL India Ltd at the age of 49 years on August 1, 2009.
Tripathi, whose five-year term at GAIL comes to an end on July 31, 2014 and is eligible for another term as he will superannuate only in January 2020, had also applied for top job at Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) but he did not appear for the interview.
Sources said six executive directors of IOC are among those called for interviews.
Though executive directors rank lower in the priority for PESB selections as they do not have any board experience, at least two executive directors (ED) of IOC -- Sanjiv Singh and B Ashok are considered strong contenders. Singh is ED of Panipat refinery while Ashok is ED - Retail Sales.
Other EDs in fray are Anish Aggarwal, ED Western Region Pipelines, Guaridad, B D Yadav, ED, Northern Region Pipelines, Panipat, B S Canth, ED marketing division at Andhra Pradesh state office, and Vijay Prakash.
Project & Development India Ltd (PDIL) Chairman M Ravi Kant, Security Printing and Minting Corp Chairman M S Rana, Central Coalfields Ltd Chairman Gopal Singh and Ashwani Lohani of Indian Railways are the other candidates in fray for IOC top job, they said.
IOC is the world's 88th largest corporations, according to the Fortune Global 500 list, and the largest public corporation in India by revenue. It controls about half of the fuel market in the country and has a 31 per cent share in refining capacity in India.
It owns and operates 10 of India's 22 refineries with a combined refining capacity of 65.7 million tonnes per year.
Government owns 78.92 per cent in IOC.