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Indonesian state-owned oil company Pertamina has replaced both its chief executive and the deputy chief executive as part of what a minister called a “refreshment” of senior management.

Dwi Soetjipto was sacked as chief executive. Ahmad Bambang was removed as his deputy, in changes made by the company’s commissioners and Indonesia’s enterprise ministry. The company’s renewable energy director Yenni Andayani was appointed acting CEO.

“We felt that we needed to continue to make improvements, so there needed to be a refreshment,” Gatoto Trihargo, deputy minister for state-owned enterprises told reporters in the capital Jakarta.

Mr Bambang has been the subject of media reports that he has been questioned in connection to corruption linked to Pertamina.

But Tanri Abeng, Pertamina chairman, said there was “no link to that”. Instead he said the management structures had “obstructed cooperation”.

“As the largest company in this country, with multiple and complex responsibilities, it’s not easy to manage effectively,” Mr Abeng said.

The company’s board of commissioners will review Pertamina’s management structure over the next 30 days by when they expect to have found a replacement for Mr Soetjipto, the chairman said. However he said there were no plans to appoint a new deputy.

Mr Soetjipto was appointed in 2014 by President Joko Widodo to oversee a crackdown on corruption and slash Indonesia’s fuel imports by building new domestic refinery capacity. Mr Bambang, who held the post for just three months, told reporters on Friday the change was “the best decision from Pertamina and shareholders so that the ‘noise’ about Pertamina ends. While seeking a replacement the directors can now carry out their company duties in peace”.

Indonesia is an OPEC member. But the energy sector is no longer the main driver of the economy, accounting for around 3.4 per cent of state revenues in 2016 down from 25 per cent a decade earlier.

In the 1970s before the first oil crisis, the then chief executive General Ibnu Sutowo drove a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and entertained US clients at the company’s own restaurant in Manhattan.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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