Major oil company Eneos said Tuesday it has dismissed its President Takeshi Saito after finding out he inappropriately hugged a woman while drunk.

The company was notified of Saito's misconduct in November through its whistle-blowing system and subsequently asked outside lawyers to launch an investigation, which verified the allegation, it said in a statement.

The scandal is another blow to the company, whose former CEO Tsutomu Sugimori was forced to step down last year amid a report that he sexually harassed and injured a hostess at a bar.

"It is extremely regrettable that scandals like this have happened at our company for two years in a row," Seiichiro Nishioka, an outside director, said at a news conference. "We apologize for the trouble we have caused to our stakeholders."

While the company did not disclose the details of the misconduct, citing privacy concerns, it said Saito admitted to excessive drinking and expressed regret for losing self-control.

Takeshi Saito
Takeshi Saito | Kyodo

Saito's inappropriate behavior was observed at a social gathering also attended by Executive Vice President Yasushi Yatabe and Senior Vice President Kotaro Sunaga, Eneos said.

The company called Saito's acts "unacceptable" and said it would ask him to return part of his compensation. Sunaga will also take a pay cut as he made inappropriate remarks to the woman, it said.

Eneos also asked Yatabe to step down as he was in the position to manage the company's compliance but failed to stop Saito's misconduct, according to the company.

Executive Vice President Tomohide Miyata will temporarily lead the company, it said.

"I never thought a thing like this would happen again," Nishioka said. "We will consider every option to drastically improve our governance."