Tullow Oil is on the hunt for a new chair after Dorothy Thompson decided to leave the top job at the Anglo-Irish independent.

"A search process to find a new chair has been launched and is expected to conclude towards the end of the summer," London-listed Tullow said on Wednesday in announcing the impending exit of the non-executive chair.

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"Dorothy will remain chair of Tullow until the new chair is appointed and an appropriate handover has taken place."

Thompson was elected to the Tullow board in April 2018 and succeeded company founder Aidan Heavey as chair in September that year.

From December 2019 to September last year she stepped up to executive chair after the exit of Paul McDade as chief executive, reverting to non-executive with the appointment of Rahul Dhir as McDade's replacement.

Thompson said of her decision to step away: “My time with Tullow has been interesting and challenging and Tullow is now well positioned for a positive and sustainable future.

"With the refinancing successfully concluded through our recent bond issue and with a new business plan in place which is progressing well under Rahul Dhir’s capable leadership, I have decided that this is the right time to step back from Tullow and to move to other opportunities."

Dhir said: “I am very sorry that Dorothy is leaving Tullow but fully understand her desire to step back now that the business is in a stronger position.

"I will miss Dorothy’s astute counsel, her leadership and her expert chairing of the Board and I wish her well in her future endeavours.”