Mining giant Vedanta has revamped the top management of its metals business in India with the appointment of Samir Cairae as CEO of Metals division.
Heads of Aluminium, Copper, Power and Iron ore business will report to the new CEO.
Cairae, who previously worked with cement maker Lafarge and oil driller Schlumberger, will report to Vedanta Resources Group CEO Tom Albanese, the firm led by NRI billionaire Anil Agarwal said in a statement today.
He has been appointed as the CEO of Diversified Metals (India) and will also be a member of the Vedanta Executive Committee team, it added.
“Samir will provide operational and strategic leadership for the performance of Vedanta Ltd’s Aluminium, India Copper, Power, Iron ore divisions in addition to Commercial and Asset optimisation functions,” Albanese said.
Vedanta said this appointment is a part of the Senior Leadership key initiatives undertaken by the firm’s Human Resource for acquiring global talent to take the diversified metals and mining group to new heights.
According to industry sources, Cairae has been brought in to look after the firm’s cost cutting measures as well as for asset optimisation as the metals to oil conglomerate braces up for a tough 2016 in the commodities market, which has been adversely impacted by softening prices and subdued demand.
Heads of the various metals business such as Iron ore, aluminium, etc in India will report to Cairae, they added.
In October last year, Vedanta Resources said it has trimmed capital and operating expenditures in July-September quarter as the mining conglomerate tries to tackle volatile market conditions as well as subdued metal prices globally.
Presenting production figures for Q2 2015-16, Albanese had said: “We are continuing to drive efficiency improvements and optimise opex and capex across the business.
“While the near term market outlook is challenging, we believe we have the right mix of commodities to benefit from future demand in India and globally.”
Vedanta Resources said: “In light of the current market conditions, we are focused on optimising our opex and capex, increasing free cash flow and reducing net debt.”
Challenging commodity prices pulled down the consolidated net profit of Vedanta Ltd by 40.6 per cent to Rs 973.97 crore in the second quarter of the current fiscal from Rs 1,639.93 crore during the same quarter of 2014-15. Net sales fell to Rs 16,349.21 crore from Rs 19,448.14 crore during the same period.
Vedanta, earlier known as Sesa Sterlite, last year shut its rolling mill at Balco and also stopped a production stream at Lanjigarh to save costs, that led to about 3,000 job cuts — both direct and indirect.
It also started a cost cutting drive at iron ore business in Goa (Sesa Goa) that includes slashing up to 450 jobs and liquidating non-productive land and other properties.
Vedanta stock fell by almost 4 per cent to Rs 88.85 on the BSE.