Alka Mittal, director of human resources at energy major Oil and Natural Gas Company (ONGC), has been given the additional charge of chairman and managing director, the company announced on January 3.

With this appointment, Mittal has become the first woman ever to head ONGC as its CMD. She will hold the post for six months or until a regular appointment for the position is announced, whichever is earlier.

ONGC has not had a full-time chairman and managing director since former chief Shashi Shanker retired on March 31, 2021. Typically, the government select a future CMD at least a few months before the retirement of the incumbent but instead, after Shanker’s retirement, the then senior-most director was given the additional charge. Subhash Kumar, former director (finance) was given the additional charge of the post from April 1, 2021. Kumar too retired end-December, leaving the top position vacant for a couple of days.

Given that Mittal is currently the senior most on the board of directors, it was speculated that she would be given the CMD’s position but the formal orders came late on January 3.

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