Two former executives of defunct Russian oil company Yukos Oil have joined the board of Irish explorer Petroceltic.
The development forms part of the overhaul of the Dublin-based company’s board, as agreed with its main independent shareholder, Swiss investment firm, Worldview, in return for voting in favour of its recently contentious $100m (€73m) share placing.
In light of that, Petroceltic said last month that it would be lowering the size of its board from nine to seven, with a greater emphasis on non-executive members.
Chief financial officer Tom Hickey and chief operating officer David Thomas have stepped down from the board (both will retain day-to-day positions), as have non-executive members Hugh McCutcheon and Rob Arnott.
Joining the board are new non-executive members Don Wolcott and Joe Mach who have been recommended by Worldview, which now owns a 20% stake in Petroceltic.
Mr Wolcott was CEO of London-listed, Russian-focused explorer Ruspetro from 2011 to 2013, while Mr Mach was a non-executive director of the company in the same period.
Both men also held senior executive roles with Yukos Oil, the Moscow-headquartered company which went bankrupt in 2006 and whose founder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky (once Russia’s wealthiest man) went to jail for a decade after being convicted of fraud. Mr Mach served as first vice-president responsible for exploration and production, at Yukos, from 1999 to 2006; while Mr Wolcott worked for Yukos from 1999 to 2005 as senior vice-president responsible for all aspects of production and reservoir performance.
Mr Wolcott will also serve on Petroceltic’s audit and nominations committee, while Mr Mach will join the remuneration committee.
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