EDINBURGH-based Cairn Energy has surprised the City by announcing the departures of long-serving executives Mike Watts and Jann Brown.

Mr Watts, deputy chief executive, and Ms Brown, managing director and chief financial officer, will stand down at the oil and gas firm's AGM on May 15.

Cairn said the two will dedicate their notice periods to helping the company resolve its dispute with the Indian tax authorities over bumper finds made in Rajasthan.

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The changes leave Cairn with two executive directors on its board, chief executive Simon Thomson and James Smith, who is taking over as finance director.