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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Congratulations Datuk Shamsul Azhar Abbas, Happy Retirement Tan Sri Hassan

It's out now, officially.

The news that we have been waiting for, especially amongst Petronas staff and oil & gas industry analysts.

Datuk Shamsul Azhar Abbas (image, top), 57, the former Managing Director & CEO of MISC Berhad, has been appointed the new President & CEO of Petronas as well as Acting Chairman of the national oil corporation, succeeding incumbent Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican (image, down) whose contract expires on 9 February 2010.

Datuk Shamsul's appointment will take effect on 10 February 2010.

Alhamdulillah, it looks like Tan Sri Hassan is leaving the company in good hands. Datuk Shamsul is a Petronas man and has served the national oil corporation since 1974, in various capacities and key positions including that of Vice President of Oil Business, Vice President Petrochemicals, Vice President Exploration (Upstream) and Vice President Maritime and Logistics. He then went on to become the Managing Director & CEO of MISC Berhad which is also a subsidiary of Petronas, from 2004 to 2009.

I know a lot of Petronas staff will be sad to see Tan Sri Hassan leave. Me included. But I am happy for Tan Sri. He can now retire in glory after doing the country a great service for 21 years since he first joined the company in 1989.

Like what Petronas advisor and former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said "No matter how good you are, there will be a time when you need to leave." That statement was made by the old man a couple of weeks ago, when he was asked about speculation on Tan Sri Hassan's future in view of his contract expiring. Perhaps the old man already knew what was coming.

Bottomline, we have to learn to let go.

It would be too long for me to list down Tan Sri Hassan's achievements as the numero uno of Petronas. It does not have to be justified - everyone knows he did an excellent job. He continued the legacy of the late Tan Sri Azizan Zainul Abidin whom he suceeded and transformed Petronas into what it is today - the only Malaysian company in the Fortune 500 list and one of the strongest and most respectable national oil companies in the world, at par with the supermajors the likes of ExxonMobil, Shell and BP. Petronas indeed under Tan Sri Hassan's stewardship, has been inducted into the big boys league of the oil & gas supermajors.

It is something that we should be proud of despite Petronas being the subject of public bashing and finding itself dangerously close to be thrown into political quagmire of late.

To Datuk Shamsul, welcome aboard sir. May you continue the legacies of the late Tan Sri Azizan and of Tan Sri Hassan.

May the force be with you....