The Telegraph
Tuesday , April 1 , 2014
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Board rejig at Sesa Sterlite

Agarwal: Mentor’s role

Mumbai, March 31: Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal has been named chairman emeritus of group company Sesa Sterlite and will play the role of a chief mentor.

Reconstituting its board of directors, Sesa Sterlite today said executive vice-chairman Navin Agarwal would take over as chairman and former Rio Tinto boss Tom Albanese would be the chief executive officer.

The changes would come into effect from April 1, Sesa Sterlite informed the stock exchanges today.

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 retired today from both the companies. Mehta was the CEO of both Vedanta Resources and Sesa Sterlite.

Sesa Sterlite also confirmed that P.K. Mukherjee, executive director (iron ore business), had decided to step down from the company. Kuldip Kaura, an independent director, has also resigned.

The changes at Sesa Sterlite have triggered speculation that Anil Agarwal will become non-executive chairman of group holding company Vedanta Resources as well.

Sesa Sterlite further said it had appointed two independent directors, Lalita Gupte and Naresh Chandra, and two full time directors, Tarun Jain and D.D. Jalan, to its board.

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

Naresh Chandra is a former cabinet secretary to the Government of India; Lalita Gupte, a former joint managing director of ICICI Bank, currently heads ICICI Venture Funds Management Company.

D.D. Jalan has been the chief financial officer of the company, while Tarun Jain is a key official of the Vedanta group and has had a very long stint with it.

The developments come at a time a panel appointed by the Supreme Court has capped iron ore mining in Goa at 27.5 million tonnes annually. It may be recalled that the apex court had banned mining in the state in September 2012.