KARACHI: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is expected to appoint Faizullah Abbasi as the new chief executive officer (CEO) of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) –the country’s largest industrial complex– sources said.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, sources said among the shortlisted candidates, Abbasi has the most relevant qualifications and experience to fit the commanding position in the state-owned steel giant.
The decision regarding Abbasi’s appointment is still pending, sources said, but his file is with the PM and a notification regarding his appointment is expected by Saturday.
Pakistan Steel’s Board of Human Resource (BHR) Committee – a committee that inducts people on higher posts – interviewed about a dozen candidates and shortlisted three for the CEO’s slot, sources said. Major Gen (retd) Muhammad Farooq and Muhammad Asad were the other shortlisted candidates.
Sources said that 45-year-old Asad has a degree in civil engineering and lacks the experience for such a senior post and it is very unlikely that the PPP-led government will appoint an army general – leaving Abbasi as the frontrunner for the CEO’s post.
Sources further said the BHR committee had recommended Abbasi’s name to the Ministry of Production which reported it to the PM. Abbasi has held important government positions in PPP’s former governments including that of Deputy Managing Director of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) in the mid-90s.
Last time Abbasi served a state-owned company was in January 2010 when he assumed the office of MD SSGC.
It is pertinent to mention here that Imtiaz AK Lodhi, former acting CEO of PSM, was sacked because his degree could not be verified.
The sources added his file was also sent to SSGC for background verification. Abbasi was one of the eight MDs of top, state-owned, petroleum and gas companies fired by Petroleum Minister Asim Hussain in May, 2011.
When contacted, sources in SSGC confirmed that Abbasi’s file was received by the SSGC. Sources further said that by rule the letter of background verification is sent to higher authorities such as MD and chairman.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2011.