Bengaluru: India’s second-largest heavy truck maker, Ashok Leyland Ltd, on Tuesday announced the resignation of its managing director and chief executive Vinod K. Dasari effective 31 March 2019.

“After a successful stint of almost 14 years with Ashok Leyland, first as a chief operating officer (COO) and then as CEO and MD, Mr. Vinod K. Dasari has decided to pursue his personal interests and seek new learning," the Chennai-based Hinduja group flagship said in a statement.

While the board has accepted his resignation, Dasari will continue to work in his current position until 31 March 2019 to ensure a smooth transition, the company added.

“I would like to place on record the contribution of Mr. Dasari in making Ashok Leyland a formidable force in the industry. He along with his leadership team steered the company to ensure significant all round performance," said chairman Dheeraj G Hinduja, who will step in as executive chairman with immediate effect to assist in “business continuity and a seamless transition".

The nominations and remuneration committee of the board will meet shortly to decide the future course of action in identifying the next CEO and MD, Ashok Leyland said.

“My decision to leave is purely personal as I wish to pursue my personal interests and continue my learning journey. Fourteen years in this great company has been an incredible experience. There were many challenges along the way, but the continuous support of the Board and a committed team helped the company achieve many laurels and set industry benchmarks. I consider it an honour and privilege to have led this great organisation over the last few years", Dasari said.

Dasari was instrumental in recognising the need for truckers to carry higher payloads and created the 37-tonne-segment. Under his leadership, Ashok Leyland also gave greater impetus to the fast-growing light commercial vehicle segment.

On Tuesday, the firm reported a 37% increase in its second-quarter net profit to 460 crore against the year ago, compared to a Bloomberg estimate of 511 crore by 20 analysts.

Net sales increased 25% to 7,680 crore, while Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) margins stood at 10.6%, up 50 basis points from the year-ago quarter.

The market scenario was “challenging" and the competitive environment was “aggressive" during the quarter gone by, Dasari said.

“The growth in topline helped in our financial performance. While input cost increases continue, we are attempting to neutralize this effect through efficient cost management. We continue to be zero debt as at the end of the quarter," chief financial officer Gopal Mahadevan said.

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