Nayara Energy, the largest private-sector oil retailer, on Monday announced the appointment of Alois Virag as the new chief executive effective April 1.
The appointment follows the incumbent chief executive B Anand's elevation as the president of the company, which is majority-owned by a few Russian government-owned energy giant Rosneft.
In his new role Anand will be responsible for developing strategic partnerships in the energy market, strengthening engagement with stakeholders, including government and policy-makers, apart from accelerating the sustainability initiatives, the company, formerly Essar Oil, said in a statement.
In August 2017, Essar Group sold its refining and fuel retailing business known as Essar Oil to a clutch of international investors led by Russain oil giant Rosneft and an investment consortium led by global commodity trading firm Trafigura and UCP Investment Group for over Rs 86,000 crore, making it the largest inbound FDI till then.
Later in April 2018, the new management renamed it Nayara Energy but is still running the retail pumps under Essar.
Nayara owns and operates the country's second-largest single-site refinery at Vadinar in Gujarat with a current capacity of 20 million tonne and is also the largest fuel retailer in the private sector with over 6,000 outlets across the country.
Virag joins Nayara from Austrian integrated oil and gas company OMV where he was the senior vice-president for downstream business for its Middle Eastern and Asian operations.
He has over three decades of downstream industry experience in refining and petrochemicals and a doctorate from the Vienna Institute of Technology.
Tony Fountain, executive chairman of Nayara Energy, said Virag's expertise in leading complex capital projects, turnaround and digitalisation along with his fuel marketing and retailing experience make him a great fit for steering Nayara's growth plans in India.
Thanking Anand for steering them through the post-acquisition journey and laying a strong foundation to strengthen the company, Fountain said he will move onto a strategic role to help them transform the business environment and build their reputation, growth and transition.