will step down from his executive role to become a non-executive chairman over the next two quarters, as the group prepares itself for succession across several companies. Under new Sebi norms, the top 500 listed entities will have to ensure that the chairperson is a non-executive director from April 1, 2020. It will eventually lead to a split in the post of chairman and managing director. Anand Mahindra turns 65 next May.
“He will most likely take over as a non-executive chairman,” top M&M sources confirmed to TOI. The group will announce a series of changes to various senior positions as several managers hit the age limit over the next four to six weeks.
“Its entire brass, starting with chairman Anand Mahindra to MD Pawan Goenka to group president (HR) Rajeev Dubey and others, are due for retirement in 12-18 months,” sources said. Also due for retirement is Rajan Wadhera, currently president of the auto sector at M&M.
The $20.7-billion Mahindra Group is embarking on its most ambitious succession transition since Anand Mahindra took over the reins from his uncle Keshub Mahindra. According to the plans, the changes will likely come into effect from January 2020 and all new candidates will go through a three-month orientation, after which they will take over their new roles from March 2020, before the retirements begin, said a senior source in the group.
When contacted, Dubey said, “An exercise in succession and transition planning is under way and a sub-committee under the M&M board is working on it in a structured manner so that the transition is smooth and well thought-out. The announcements will come well in advance before the date of retirement and there will be a hand-holding period for the successor.”
The sub-committee working on the transition is under the governance nomination & remuneration committee (GNRC) of the M&M board. Several names are doing the rounds as possible successors, though Dubey remained tight-lipped on the list. This includes current head of farm equipment sector (FES) Rajesh Jejurikar taking over as the MD of newly minted Mahindra Ford. Sources say two names are in the fray as head of the tractor division — current group CFO V Parthasarathy and president (spares business) Hemant Sikka.
After Wadhera, who has got an extension up to September 2020, the auto division may be headed by Vinod Sahay, currently CEO of bus and truck division. If Sahay moves to auto division, the truck and bus business may be headed by Ashok Sharma, currently president agri-sector.
As for Dubey’s role, after his retirement in March 2020, the buzz is that his successor will be Ruzbeh Irani, currently president – group communications and chief brand officer. Group president strategy Anish Shah is touted to take over as MD – group corporate office, say sources. However, the final list may change as some of the names have not been frozen, said a senior M&M official. “The idea,” said Dubey, “is to put in place a template for succession which is professional and structured.”
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