Dhir led Cairn’s Indian unit until 2012 and in 2013 he was a founder of Delonex Energy, an Africa-focused E&P firm that subsequently made discoveries in Chad, Ethiopia and Kenya.
In Kenya, Delonex is the operating partner in Block 12A where Tullow is also partnered.
“I am delighted to welcome Rahul to Tullow and am very pleased that he has accepted the position of CEO,” said Dorothy Thompson, Tullow chair in a statement.
“His oil & gas, financial and African experience combined with his record of strong leadership made him the stand-out candidate for the board.”
Dhir, meanwhile, added: “I am very excited at the opportunity to lead Tullow and re-establish it as an iconic company in our industry.
“The company has high-quality assets and great people. It also has a unique position in Africa, built on a proven track record of responsible operations, strong relationships and a commitment to sustainability.”