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Financials

UPDATE 1-Tullow Oil appoints Delonex chief Dhir as CEO

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LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) - Tullow Oil said on Tuesday it had appointed Rahul Dhir, who currently leads smaller Africa-focused oil and gas producer Delonex, as chief executive.

Rahul will take the helm at Tullow at a time when it is slashing its headcount by a third and trying to raise $1 billion from selling at least part of its East African assets amid a pandemic that has slashed oil demand and prices.

Tullow shares listed on the London Stock Exchange’s main market have plunged about 93% since April 2019, shrinking its market capitalisation to around 250 million pounds ($310 million) while its debt stands at $2.8 billion.

Dhir, a petroleum engineer who has also worked at Cairn India and banks Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch, will take over on July 1, Tullow said.

Tullow has been under the interim leadership of Executive Chairman Dorothy Thompson since previous CEO Paul McDade resigned in December after the group failed to hit production targets at flagship fields in Ghana.

The company has also suffered from delays in getting its Kenyan and Ugandan projects onstream and lower-than-hoped-for oil quality in Guyana.

“The company has high-quality assets and great people. It also has a unique position in Africa... I am looking forward to working with the team and the Board to re-build an exceptional business,” Dhir said in a statement.

Delonex is active in Ethiopia, Kenya and Chad, according to its website.

($1 = 0.8058 pounds)

Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; editing by Andrew Heavens and Jason Neely

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