Ahmad Nizam is Petronas Chairman

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The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has announced the appointment of veteran oil and gas executive Datuk Ahmad Nizam Salleh as Petronas chairman, with immediate effect.

Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin will remain the President and Group CEO, said the PMO in a statement today.

Ahmad Nizam has been working in the oil and gas industry for 37 years and served Petronas in several positions for the majority of his career.

He was also the managing director and CEO of Petronas’ 80%-owned unit, Engen Ltd, based in South Africa.

The 62-year-old is also an independent non-executive director of WZ Sabu Berhad, an investment holding company that manufactures and trades in steel products.

Ahmad Nizam replaces Mohd Sidek Hassan who resigned as Petronas chairperson last week.

He was considered as a frontrunner for the post of Petronas CEO back in 2015.

Prior to this appointment, he served as senior general manager of group treasury division of Petronas.

He is also said to have the support of Malay rights groups and is politically well-connected.

The announcement comes a week after speculation that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad would have a closer watch over Petronas, which is expected to be placed either under his office, or the Prime Minister’s Department.