No. 2 Top Official in China’s Second Largest Oil Company Charged with Embezzlement

Yet again, the corporate world lends itself to invaluable lessons regarding careful vetting of top management being hired for positions that grant them access to power and privileged information. The former president of the global energy giant Sinopec Group has been sentenced to 15 1/2 years for graft, state media reported in January of this year. Wang Tianpu was jailed by a Chinese court after a lengthy investigation and subsequent trial.

The no. 2 official at Asia’s largest oil refiner, Wang was named general manager in August 2011, according to the company’s website.

Wang was found guilty for embezzling state properties worth 795,934 yuan (US $115,000) and accepting bribes of approximately 33.48 million yuan (US $6.93 million) while holding top positions at Sinopec Group between 2003 and 2014, state news agency Xinhua said.

Sinopec Group removed Xue Wandong, vice chairman and general manager of Sinopec Oilfield Services Corp., last December after a lengthy investigation. A corruption case will be brought against Xue, the company later confirmed in its microblog.

For many years the China’s President Xi Jinping has fought political corruption, stating it threatens the power of the ruling Communist Party. The most notable entity to come under investigation is the nation’s biggest energy company, China National Petroleum Corp., who has lost more than a dozen top officials to state investigation.

What did this top official’s misuse of power cost one of Asia’s largest oil refiners? Shares dropped as much as 5% to HK$7.25 at the news of Wang’s conviction — as well as credibility and trust in the eyes of the global oil community.

Don’t be the next Sinopec Group: Know your organization’s gaps in employee monitoring, executive-level screening and other personnel risks by partnering with an expert in the industry to educate you on best practices.