With at least three senior executives due to retire and as a result of the joint venture with Ford India, the $20 billion-strong Mahindra group has launched a major restructuring and realignment in its leadership ranks, people familiar with the matter told CNBC-TV18.
The new appointments are likely to be announced after Mahindra and Mahindra's (M&M) board meeting on November 8 or in December and the changes could take effect over the next six months, the persons said, requesting anonymity.
Up to 34 top executives of M&M, under the age of 53, have gone through a future leadership program in order to be prepared for future roles. These names included Anish Shah, Rajesh Jejurikar, Ashok Sharma, Hemant Sikka, Vinod Sahay and others, the persons quoted above said.
In a statement to CNBC-TV18, Rajeev Dubey, group president - HR at M&M, confirmed that a transition plan is underway.
“The Mahindra group has a very robust and active talent management process which looks at succession planning and leadership development across businesses and functions, and as a consequence, we have a very good line of vision to the leadership pipeline at all levels, including at the very top," he said.
Mahindra and Ford said earlier this month that the American automaker will now operate in India as part of a joint venture with M&M. in which Ford will hold 49 percent stake and M&M 51 percent.
Retirement date in mind
While M&M has refused to comment on any possible appointments or the timeline, Dubey stated, “The executive announcements will be made well in advance of the dates of retirement and there will be adequate hand-holding periods of transition for the concerned successors”.
While Anand Mahindra is set to take over as a non-executive chairperson as per market regulator Sebi's norms, the sources said Pawan Goenka, who retires on November 11, 2020, may get a further extension. This would be to facilitate a transition for the person set to succeed him, said a source.
The 49-year-old Anish Shah, group president - strategy, and currently one of the youngest members of the Mahindra group executive board, may take over from Goenka after a transition period.
Rajan Wadhera, president - auto at M&M, is set to retire in September 2020. According to the sources, Rajesh Jejurikar, president - farm equipment sector, could take over from Wadhera and may also be appointed as the MD of the Ford business. Either Jejurikar or Vinod Sahay, who is the CEO of the Bus and Truck division, could be chosen to lead the auto business, said a person initimately aware of the matter.
Similarly, Hemant Sikka, who is heading the Power and Spares business, could be appointed as the president of the Farm Equipment Vertical.
M&M may also bring about a realignment of teams as a result of the joint venture with Ford. Velusamy Ramasamy, who is the vice president, Powertrain at M&M, may be chosen to lead the R&D for both Ford and Mahindra.
Strategic sourcing for M&M and Ford is likely to be brought under one senior executive. Senior executives from Ford India may also be brought into leadership positions at M&M.