Anil Agarwal to be Chairman Emeritus of Sesa Sterlite

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 31 2014, 21:05pm hrs
VedantaFormer head of Rio Tinto Tom Albanese will be the CEO of Sesa Sterlite. Reuters
In a major overhaul of its Board, Vedanta group firm Sesa Sterlite Ltd today said its Non-executive Chairman Anil Agarwal will now become Chairman Emeritus and lay the role of Chief Mento

His brother and company's Executive Vice Chairman Navin Agarwal will takeover as Chairman, while former head of Rio Tinto Tom Albanese will be the CEO, Sesa Sterlite said in a statement. The changes are effective from April 1.

Albanese, 56, has already been appointed the CEO of Vedanta Resources Plc - the group's parent firm - from April 1. He succeeds M S Mehta, who retires today, at both the companies.

For many years, a single person - including Mehta has been the CEO of Vedanta group's two most prominent companies, Vedanta Resources and Sesa Sterlite (previously Sterlite Industries).

"Navin Agarwal, currently Executive Vice Chairman, is appointed the Chairman of the Board. Anil Agarwal, Non- Executive Chairman, will now be the Chairman Emeritus of Sesa Sterlite, and will continue to provide his vision to the Group, and play the role of chief mentor," the company said.

The announcement has already triggered a buzz in industry circles whether Anil Agarwal is considering to become Non- Executive Chairman of Vedanta Resources as well.

In November 2012, he had said that he wanted to handover the reins of his USD 15-billion Vedanta group to a professional CEO over the next 3-4 years and would like to take the mentoring role as Non-Executive Chairman thereafter.

Sesa Sterlite has also appointed two Independent Directors, Lalita Gupte and Naresh Chandra, and two full time Directors, Tarun Jain and D D Jalan, on its Board.

P K Mukherjee, the Executive Director (Iron Ore Business) and Kuldip Kaura, an Independent Director, have stepped down from the company Board, it said.

Anil Agarwal said: "With these appointments, we believe Sesa Sterlite has a well-rounded Board, with members bringing a wealth of experience and diverse expertise covering strategy and operations for global businesses, international capital markets, public policy, law and corporate governance."

He added: "I am certain that this will be invaluable as we continue to execute our strategy to deliver long term value for all stakeholders."

Agarwal also thanked outgoing members of Sesa Sterlite Board for their valuable contributions and leadership provided to the businesses over the years. Among the new members of the Sesa Sterlite Board, Naresh Chandra is an ex-Cabinet Secretary to the Government of India, while Lalita Gupte, a former Joint MD of ICICI Bank, currently heads ICICI Venture Funds Management Company Ltd.

D D Jalan has been the Chief Financial Officer of the company, while Tarun Jain is a very old associate and is a key official of the group.