Kevin Hart, the FD of Cairn Energy, has quit the FTSE 100 oil giant after an
eight-year spell, to take up the controversial chief executive role at battered
AIM group Bowleven.
Hart joins Bowleven, also an oil business, following a year that has seen the
company lose 63% of its market value, after firing former chief executive Philip
Rhind for gross misconduct and suffering high-profile oil exploration failures.
The group has been the subject of a bitter feud between its chairman Terry
Heneaghan and the former chief executive. Rhind had accused Heneaghan of running
the company as his ‘personal fiefdom’ and raised issues relating to corporate
governance and other unspecified financial matters, subsequently dismissed in an
investigation by auditors Baker Tilly.
Speaking to Accountancy Age, Hart said he wanted to focus on Bowleven’s
future prospects. ‘I have always had an ambition to be the chief executive of an
oil exploration company and I have had an excellent apprenticeship at Cairn.’
Al Stanton, an oil analyst at Bridgewell Securities, said Cairn Energy’s
upcoming IPO in India would have influenced Hart’s decision. ‘The India IPO will
change the company dramatically and there was always going to be a management
shake-out as a result,’ Stanton said.
Hart is succeeded at Cairn by financial controller Jann Brown.
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