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Dr Reddy's inheritors switch jobs

Company said the move was designed to separate the roles of chairman from that of managing director and CEO

BS Reporter  |  Hyderabad 

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has in a sudden reversal of roles appointed the company’s vice-chairman and chief operating officer, K Satish Reddy, as chairman of the board in place of The company said the move was designed to separate the roles of chairman from that of managing director and chief executive officer (CEO).

Prasad was last April appointed chairman in addition to CEO after the death of Dr Reddy’s founder Kallam Anji Reddy. Satish Reddy is his son and Prasad his son-in-law. Prasad was named co-chairman and managing director on Tuesday.

Abhijit Mukherjee, president of Dr Reddy’s global generics business, is the company’s new chief operating officer. Mukherjee gets additional responsibility of the pharmaceutical services division, which has been struggling in the recent quarters.

Dr Reddy’s saw a smooth succession with Prasad as chairman and Satish Reddy as vice-chairman, ending speculation about the two competing for the top job. Succession at Dr Reddy’s had become a hot topic after Anji Reddy did not show up at the company’s annual general body meeting in 2012. Anji Reddy had, however, initiated a succession plan in September 2011 by changing the holding structure of the promoter group.

Both Prasad and Satish Reddy were present on Tuesday at the press conference to announce quarterly results and were at ease taking questions on their new jobs. “It was about separating the role of chairman and the CEO. While Prasad is best suited to lead the executive role and to focus on growth of the company, as chairman I will deal with corporate governance and CSR (corporate social responsibility). I will also contribute to the industry as president of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance,” Satish Reddy said.

Prasad echoed the sentiment in his reply to a volley of questions on being replaced a year after being named chairman. Prasad is married to Anji Reddy’s daughter G Anuradha and was associated with Dr Reddy's founder much before he joined the company's board in 1986.

“We are related to each other, we always worked as a team. The issue here is about taking the legacy left to us by my father forward in terms of growth, innovation and social causes. It needs us to focus more on these areas to do justice,” Satish Reddy told Business Standard.

Prasad was the immediate choice as chairman after the death of his father, Satish Reddy said, but they have had an opportunity to reassess their roles in the past year. The decision would also provide more space and responsibilities to people at the top, he added.

“Satish Reddy is actively involved in various industry associations and leads the corporate social responsibility efforts at Dr Reddy’s. In his new role, he can contribute significantly to shaping the direction and course of action on these fronts, in addition to being a custodian of the corporate brand and driving governance and agenda of the board,” Prasad stated.

GAME OF THRONES

* joined Dr Reddy’s board in 1986, Satish Reddy joined the company in 1993 as executive director


* In 2001, Prasad became the vice- chairman and CEO of the company when Cheminor Drugs, headed by him, merged with it

* On 26 September, 2011, company’s founder, Anji Reddy moved an application with Sebi for the acquisition of the promoter holding company of DRL by APS Trust as part of the succession plan

* All the family members, including Anji Reddy, transfer their stake to the APS Trust

* Prasad became chairman of Dr Reddy’s on March 30, 2013 in a smooth succession only 15 days after the demise of his father-in-law, Anji Reddy

* Abhijit Mukherjee is the company’s new chief operating officer

First Published: Wed, May 14 2014. 00:47 IST
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