Algeria’s Sonatrach has changed its senior leadership personnel in a bid to retain skilled workers within the state-run firm, Reuters reported.

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika appointed US-trained Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour as head of Sonatrach overhauls in March 2017. Years of fraud scandals, bureaucracy, and frequent CEO changes had dissuaded foreign investors from working with the company.

“We have lost thousands of experienced and talented people mainly because we can’t give them a salary they get now in the Gulf and other countries,” Kaddour stated in an interview.

Sonatrach does not offer internationally competitive wages, but positions at the company remain sought after locally.

Kaddour has appointed eight vice-presidents from within the firm, including Salah Mekmouche for exploration, Arbu bey Slimane for pipe transportation, and “rising stars” Farid Ghazali, for strategy, and Ahmed Mazighi on commercial affairs, the source revealed.

“The appointments still need to be validated by a presidential decree but the top managers have already started,” the source added.

Kaddour aims to make Sonatrach one of the top-five state oil firms by 2030.

Algerian annual energy revenues have halved since 2014, and the country was placed 18th on a 2017 US Energy Administration output list.