Mayank Ashar, former managing director and CEO at Cairn India, has joined Mukesh Ambani-promoted Reliance Industries as adviser-refinery and marketing business. Ashar joined Vedanta group company Cairn in May 2014 and quit the firm in June 2016.
He would be reporting to Hital R Meswani, who is an executive director on the board of RIL, according to an email sent to the company’s top brass last week. Ashar refused to comment when FE contacted him.
Ashar, who is also known as Mike in the industry, left Cairn India citing “personal reasons”. Company sources told FE that he did not want to continue after his two-year tenure ended.
The 60-year-old executive’s exit from the Vedanta Group company comes at a time when oil explorer has been performing poorly following the collapse in crude oil prices. Ashar has been trying to get the lease for the Barmer oil and gas block extended by another 10 years beyond 2020.
Industry watchers expressed surprise when Ashar decided to move on from Cairn India. According to reports, not independently verified by FE, Cairn India was paying Mayank Ashar a salary of $1.15 million plus perquisites and allowances. Ashar was drawing a base salary of $1 million per annum plus $1.5 lakh in a special allowance, foreign service premium.
Ashar has over 36 years of rich and exhaustive experience in international oil and gas industry through various senior management and top leadership roles in leading global companies such as British Petroleum, Petro-Canada and Suncor Energy.
Ashar brings a rare mix of driving corporate strategy and on-ground execution, Cairn said in the notice. He also served as the chief executive officer and president at Irving Oil Limited.
He holds a Bachelors of Art & Science in Chemical Engineering, a BA in Philosophy and Economics, a Masters of Engineering and an MBA from the University of Toronto.