Sinopec's Surprise Shakeup

Despite Sinopec's stellar performance, the chairman of China's biggest oil company is out

In a surprise move, the head of China Petroleum & Chemical (SNP), Asia's biggest oil and gas refiner, is being replaced, fanning rumors in the Chinese press of possible corruption. On June 22, longtime petroleum industry veteran Chen Tonghai, chairman and president of the Beijing-based company also known as Sinopec, abruptly stepped down for "personal reasons" according to a statement on the Web site of the State Assets Supervision & Administration Commission, the governmental body which is the major shareholder in the company. "SASAC has no further information to release as of now," said a SASAC official when reached by phone. A Sinopec spokesman referred BusinessWeek to another office in the company which did not return several phone calls.

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