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Sunil Duggal named Vedanta CEO

He replaces his brother Navin, who will now be the executive vice-chairman of the board
Sunil Duggal

TT Bureau   |   Calcutta   |   Published 30.03.20, 11:11 PM

Vedanta Ltd has said Sunil Duggal, the CEO of its subsidiary Hindustan Zinc Ltd, will take additional charge as the interim CEO of Vedanta from April 6. Duggal replaces Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan, who resigned as the CEO citing personal reasons.

The appointment comes at a time the company has been rocked by the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and falling oil prices, with rating agency Moody’s placing its corporate family rating and senior unsecured bonds under review for a possible downgrade.

The company further announced the appointment of Anil Agarwal as additional non-executive director designated as chairman of the company’s board with effect from Saturday last.

The board has also re-designated Navin Agarwal, Anil’s brother, as executive vice-chairman of the company’s board with effect from the close of business hours on Friday last.

Vedanta said Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan will step down as CEO and the company’s director with effect from April 5, 2020, for personal reasons and will rejoin his family in South Africa.

It said the company has appointed Sunil Duggal as the interim chief executive officer. He will report to the chairman, a company statement said.

On his appointment, Duggal in the statement said, “I am indebted to the company for this appointment. I am confident that at Vedanta, with its strong moorings, I will be able to steer the company through its trajectory of growth and contribute to the economic progress of our country.”

Metals and mining magnate Anil Agarwal has for the first time taken a board position on his flagship Indian firm, Vedanta Ltd, replacing his brother Navin.

Agarwal, 66, who turned a tiny scrap metal business into a mining conglomerate, had so far headed the board of London-based Vedanta Resources.

The Indian flagship Vedanta Ltd houses its oil and gas, aluminium, power, iron ore, steel and copper businesses.

In a statement, the company said Agarwal has been appointed “as the non-executive chairman of Vedanta Ltd”.

He replaces his brother Navin, who will now be the executive vice-chairman of the board.

'The company will be run by a management committee comprising the CEO, CFO, CHRO and CCO who will take all key decisions collectively under the guidance of chairman,” the Vedanta statement said.

Besides the Agarwal brothers, Vedanta Ltd also has Anil's daughter Priya as a board director. His trusted lieutenant Tarun Jain is also on the board.

Former Hindustan Unilever executive Arun Kumar GR is the chief financial officer.

Anil Agarwal's other listed firm Hindustan Zinc Ltd is headed by his wife Kiran.

He is the non-executive chairman of Sterlite Technologies Ltd, the only other Indian listed company in the group.

All other group firms, Cairn Oil and Gas, Sterlite Cooper, Balco, Sesa Goa Iron Ore, Vedanta Aluminium and Electrosteel Steels Ltd are headed by chief executive officers.

A marwari from Patna, Agarwal came down to Mumbai as a scrap dealer in 1976 and went on to build an empire in copper, zinc, aluminum and iron ore.

A school dropout, he founded Vedanta Resources and has been its executive chairman since March, 2005.

In October 2018, Agarwal took Vedanta Resources private after paying more than $1 billion for the one third of the metals firm that he didn't already own.

In 2017, he bought a 19 per cent stake in London-listed miner Anglo American through his family trust and sold it in 2019.

Vedanta has previously stated that it would invest Rs 60,000 crore in the expansion of its zinc, silver and oil and gas businesses.


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