Mumbai: Deepak Khetrapal, chief operating officer of suit maker Raymond Ltd, handed over his resignation to Gautam Singhania, chairman and managing director, on Tuesday, 15 minutes before its board met to consider the company’s annual financial performance for the fiscal ended 31 March.
Khetrapal, 54, was hired two years ago to turn around the company, then making losses.
A person familiar with the development said the resignation came as a surprise and it had to be tabled at the board meeting at very short notice. He didn’t want to be identified as he is not authorized to speak to the media. The board deliberated on his resignation for close to an hour before accepting it.
Khetrapal abstained from the meeting while the board considered his resignation.
When Mint contacted him, Khetrapal cited “personal reasons” for his resignation. “I was planning to leave on a high. One should leave when people ask why and not why not.”
This is the second high-profile resignation at Raymond in recent months. S. Raghunathan, president, finance, a high-profile lateral appointment, resigned early this year. He had come from Hindustan Unilever Ltd but did not last a year.
Sailesh Haribhakti, chairman and managing director of BDO Haribhakti Consulting Pvt. Ltd and an independent director on the Raymond board, said: “At that level, every resignation that comes is a surprise.” He attended the 27 April board meeting.
The meeting was conducted in a smooth and dignified manner and the company’s financial results were “spectacular”, demonstrating team effort, he said.
Phone calls and text messages sent to the corporate communications department at Raymond did not elicit any response.
Khetrapal will continue with the company till his successor is identified.
Raymond recorded a net profit of Rs6.6 crore in the March quarter against a loss of Rs239 crore in the year-ago quarter on higher sales from the textile segment.
After the board approved the results, Singhania issued a statement, in which he said: “The year gone by had an interesting blend of challenges and opportunities. At Raymond, we believe in harnessing both challenges and opportunities alike for the long-term benefit of our businesses. This reflects in the business performance of almost every Raymond business in the 2009-10 financial year.”