A Game of Musical Chairs

It might seem hard to imagine, but from the 1960’s to 70’s, Pertamina was considered one of the best run national oil companies in the world. In fact, Malaysia’s Petronas was modelled and structured around Pertamina, including its pioneering use of Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) that characterise many oil producing countries today. However in 2018, that statement seems rather distant now. Because just last week, the Indonesian government stepped in once again to terminate President Director and CEO Elia Massa Manik, who barely served a single year at the helm of the state oil giant.

Ostensibly, the reason why Manik, along with four other directors , was sacked was due to a recent oil spill in Balikpapan, and for the shortage of subsidised gasoline across the archipelago. Also removed were Marketing Director – Muchamad Iskandar, Processing Director – Toharso, Asset Management Director – Dwi Wahyu Daryoto and Petrochemical and Processing Megaproject Director – Ardhy N. Mokobombang. Nicke Widyawati, Pertamina’s human resources director, will now be the acting chief executive, while Budi Santoso Syarif will serve as the new Processing Director, Basuki Trikora Putra as Corporate Marketing Director, Masud Hamid as Retail Marketing Director, Haryo Junianto as Asset Management Director, Heru Setiawan as Petrochemical and Processing Megaproject director and Gandhi Sriwidjojo as Infrastructure Director.

This continues from a dangerous trend that began last year, when CEO Dwi Soetjipto and Deputy CEO Ahmad Bambang were removed for ‘leadership issues’. Manik was appointed as the new CEO in 2017 in the aftermath, and now has departed…


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