Sinopec to select younger directors

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 06 March, 2006, 12:00am

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) is expected to see the retirement of five of its nine executive directors later this month, paving the way for appointments of much younger directors to its board.

Vice-chairman Wang Jiming, 63, chief financial officer Zhang Jiaren, 61, and executive director Cao Xianghong, 60, will retire after a board meeting this month, sources say.

Executive directors Mou Shuling, 61, and Liu Genyuan, 60, are also expected to retire from the board of Asia's largest oil refiner and China's second-largest oil producer. Mr Mou gave up the position of senior vice-president in March last year, citing his age.

'It is possible that the vice-chairman position will not be filled, as it was tailor-made for Mr Wang [given his seniority],' a source said. 'So the next position down from the chairman could be president.'

Sinopec last year promoted a few senior managers in two batches, coinciding with the lightening of responsibilities of older managers. Wang Tianpu, 43, was appointed president in March as Wang Jiming shed the title by reason of age. Wang Tianpu is not yet a board member.

The chief financial officer, Mr Zhang - the key interface with analysts and investors, and who played a key role in the company's restructuring and subsequent listing in 2000 - was to be replaced by deputy chief financial officer Dai Houliang, the source said.

Mr Zhang resigned from the position of senior vice-president in November last year due to his age, while Mr Dai, 42, formerly chairman of Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical's petrochemical complex joint venture with German chemical giant BASF, was appointed vice-president at the same time.

A Sinopec spokesman would not comment on the expected board reshuffle.

In addition to Mr Dai, likely board appointees include Cai Xiyou, 44, formerly the general manager of Sinopec's trading arm China International United Petrochemical.

Separately, PetroChina vice-chairman Jiang Jiemin denied reports that chairman Chen Geng was to step down after March. 'No, he won't quit,' he said.