K Balaji, managing director of Kasturi and Sons Ltd (KSL) that publishes The Hindu newspaper, and five other senior members of the Kasturi family will step down from their respective positions in the company while continuing as whole-time directors on its board.
According to an internal communication signed by KSL's company secretary, a copy of which is available with Business Standard, the changes will come into effect from June 1.
Arun Anant, chief executive officer, will be in charge of all the non-editorial operations of the company, including advertisement, circulation, finance and accounts, production, human resources and administration, under the supervisory direction of the board of directors, the communication said.
S Padmanabhan, vice-president (finance and accounts) and company secretary is set to become chief financial officer and company secretary.
According to company sources, Balaji, who is also the publisher now, is expected to relinquish that responsibility soon and Padmanabhan will take over. The board is expected to pass a resolution in this regard in the coming days.
The other family members stepping down from their responsibilities are: Ramesh Rangarajan (who looks after marketing), Akhila Iyengar, Vijaya Arun, Lakshmi Srinath and Nalini Krishnan.
One of the family members confirmed the development and said for the first time in the history of KSL, no family members will have day-to-day responsibility in the company.
KSL, established in 1905, also publishes financial newspaper Business Line, Frontline magazine and sports weekly Sportstar. The latest development follow a number changes took place in the company’s editorial team earlier this year.
In January, N Ram stepped down as the editor-in-chief, after holding the position for eight years. He handed over the post to Siddharth Varadarajan on January 19. On the same day, another family member, K Venugopal, also stepped down from the position of joint editor of The Hindu and Business Line.
This was in keeping with the relevant resolutions adopted by the board of directors and the shareholders of KSL on editorial succession, Ram had said.
Earlier, N Ravi, editor of The Hindu, resigned along with Malini Parthasarathy, executive editor and Nirmala Lakshman, joint editor. The Hindu's former senior managing director N Murali announced his retirement effective August 11, 2011.
With these resignations, none of the senior members of the Kasturi family will he holding any position in the company, while they all will remain as whole-time directors on its board.
On the other side, the next generation members of the family will continue to work in the organisation. They include Vidya Ram (who is the daughter of N Ram and the European correspondent of Business Line, Narayan Lakshman (US correspondent of The Hindu), Ananth Krishnan (China correspondent of The Hindu) and Rohit Ramesh, an executive in the advertisement department.
KSL has 12 board members and roughly 50 shareholders– all of them members of the Kasturi Ranga Iyengar family.