Tullow Oil plc has appointed Rahul Dhir as its new chief executive officer and an executive director of the business.

Dhir will take up his appointment on July 1. Dorothy Thompson, currently the executive chair of Tullow Oil, will return to her position as non-executive chair after a “limited period” of handover, Tullow revealed. 

Currently CEO of Delonex Energy, an Africa-focused oil and gas company that he founded in 2013, Dhir previously worked as the managing director and CEO of Cairn India from its IPO in 2006 until 2012. Dhir started his career as a petroleum engineer, before moving into investment banking where he led teams at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.

“I am delighted to welcome Rahul to Tullow and am very pleased that he has accepted the position of CEO,” Dorothy Thompson, executive chair of Tullow Oil, said in a company statement. 

“His oil and gas, financial and African experience combined with his record of strong leadership made him the stand-out candidate for the board. I look forward to Rahul joining Tullow in July and working with him closely in the coming years,” Thompson added.

Dhir said he was “very excited” at the opportunity to lead Tullow and re-establish it as an “iconic company” in the 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,” he stated.  

“I am looking forward to working with the team and the board to re-build an exceptional business,” Dhir added.

Tullow Oil describes itself as a leading independent oil and gas exploration and production company. The business has interests in over 70 exploration and production licenses across 15 countries, according to its website.