Cipla's global CEO resigns; elevates Samina Vasirelli as executive Vice chairman

 PB Jayakumar        Last Updated: August 12, 2016  | 20:13 IST
Cipla chief YK Hamied
Cipla chief YK Hamied

More changes are happening at the top at leading domestic drug firm Cipla Ltd, as its global CEO Subhanu Saxena is leaving the company and promoter YK Hamied's niece Samina Vasirelli has been elevated as Vice chairman.  The company has appointed Umang Vohra, currently the Global Chief Financial and Strategy Officer, as the Managing Director and  Global CEO since September 1.

Samina Vaziralli is currently Executive Director and the Global Head- Strategy, M&A and heads Cipla New Ventures. 

"She will move on from her current responsibilities to focus on board and governance issues, in addition to growing Cipla's strategic priorities through key global partnerships, corporate brand building and public advocacy", said Cipla.

Subhanu Saxena, who came from London after working with Novartis for over 14 years and joined Cipla in 2013, 'will step down on August 31, 2016 to attend to emergent family priorities', said Cipla.

"Having been aware of his personal circumstances, we respect Subhanu's decision to leave Cipla", said Dr YK Hamied, Non-Executive Chairman, Cipla.

Cipla on Friday had reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 365 crore for the June quarter, 43.8 per cent lower than Rs 650 profit that the company had reported in the corresponding quarter last year. Consolidated sales for the quarter were also lower at Rs 3,500 crore, compared with Rs 3,760 crore reported for the year-ago quarter.

Subhanu and his team were in the process of re-inventing Cipla, with new business strategies and directions. From the earlier risk less model of supplying key products to multinational companies and concentrating heavily in the domestic market, Cipla had started acquisitions and alliances to create direct front ends in various global markets, including a major acquisition in South Africa.

The 80-year old Yousuf K Hamied, who led Cipla for 40 years, had resigned as managing director in 2013 and continues as non-executive chairman. He had taken over the reins of Cipla when his father Khwaja Abdul Hamied died in 1972. His younger brother and vice chairman Mustafa K Hamied, has also retired to as non-executive chairman.

MK Hamied's son Kamil had joined Cipla in 2005 at a junior level, straight from college,  was considered to take Cipla forward, but he had resigned last year to pursue his own interest. The then joint managing director Amar Lulla, close to the family and instrumental in shaping Cipla's fortunes for over a decade, had been diagnosed with cancer and resigned from active roles in 2010. He passed away next year.

Cipla had seen some high profile exits in the recent past including Kamil Hamied, Chief Financial Officer Rajesh Garg and Sudhanshu Priyadarshi, who was the Global Chief Technology Officer.

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