China Moves Top Bosses in Oil Sector

The Chinese government has announced that Fu Chengyu, the former chairman of state-owned company Cnooc Ltd., will become the new chairman of Sinopec (China Petrochemical Corp). From Wall Street Journal:

China changed top executives at its three main oil-and-gas companies, in one of the periodic management reshuffles in state-owned industries that underscore the government’s heavy hand in the economy.

Fu Chengyu, former chairman of Cnooc Ltd., will become the chairman of China Petrochemical Corp., or Sinopec Group, a Sinopec media official told The Wall Street Journal on Friday.

That change puts one of the most internationally prominent state-sector executives at the helm of Asia’s largest refiner by capacity. Mr. Fu has successfully steered Cnooc through a series of major foreign acquisitions, although he failed in a controversial attempt to buy California-based Unocal Corp. in 2005, blocked by a political uproar in the U.S.

Top executives at Chinese state companies are almost all lifelong government bureaucrats, and it’s not uncommon for the government to announce several changes at once, with officials moving between companies and government positions. In recent years there have been similar reorganizations in the airline, banking and telecommunications industries.

As part of the latest shake-up, former Sinopec Group head Su Shulin has been appointed to a senior role in Fujian province’s regional government.

Wang Yilin, a former vice general manager of China National Petroleum, has succeeded Mr. Fu as chairman of Cnooc Ltd., a media official with parent China National Offshore Oil Corp., or Cnooc Group, said Friday. Mr. Wang also becomes the Communist Party secretary of Cnooc Group, the highest position in the company, he said.

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