Since Vladimir Putin seems keen to recruit well-connected Westerners such as Gerhard Schroder and Donald Evans to run his oil companies, here are some suggestions: Top of the list is Sir Philip Watts. This former Shell chairman could doubtless boost the size of Russian reserves, but may overheat when it comes to natural gas.
Smaller fry looking for that big well include Frank Timis, former chairman of Regal Petroleum, but he may run into trouble downstream. Equally well-equipped for the rough and tumble of Russian politics is former England cricketer Phil Edmonds, whose White Nile teeters in the balance of power between Sudanese chiefs.
Meanwhile, Sir Francis Mackay, who has just left his post at Kingfisher and is leaving troubled caterer Compass, and John Towers, formerly of MG Rover, are seeking new challenges. And if the Russian bear is stuck, there's always headhunter favourite and BP non-executive Sir Ian Prosser...
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