Kolkata: Cigarettes and consumer goods maker ITC Ltd will seek shareholders’ approval to extend the term of its non-executive chairman Y.C. Deveshwar by two more years till 2022, at its next annual general meeting on 27 July.
In July 2016, shareholders of the company had approved the appointment of Deveshwar, who has led ITC from 1996, as a non-executive chairman for three years with effect from February 2017.
His current term is to end in February 2020, but ITC’s board decided to seek extension of his term by two more years in view of the “increasing size and complexity of the organisation", the company said in its notice to shareholders.
Sanjiv Puri, who was appointed ITC’s chief executive officer with effect from February last year “to take independent charge of the executive leadership of the company", was appointed managing director in May this year. His term was to end in July 2019 but is being extended till July 2024. The company will seek shareholders’ approval to extend his term by five years.
The company will also seek shareholders’ approval to extend the term of its two other whole-time directors, Nakul Anand and Rajiv Tandon, for two years from July 2019.
Deveshwar, who has led ITC for two decades as executive chairman till 2016, is widely credited with the company’s diversification into consumer goods. He fought boardroom battles early on against the British American Tobacco group, a dominant shareholder in ITC, which was not in favour of venturing outside the core business of cigarettes.
The company has said in its annual report that it now has five brands with standalone revenue in excess of Rs1,000 crore each. These are Aashirvaad staples, which earned more than Rs4,000 crore in revenue in the last financial year, Sunfeast biscuits (over Rs3,500 crore), Bingo snacks (over Rs2,000 crore), Classmate stationery and Yippee noodles (both over Rs1,000 crore each).
ITC said it has 25 “mother brands" in consumer goods with a combined annual consumer spend of nearly Rs16,000 crore. Apart from the five top brands, ITC has three brands—Vivel, Mangaldeep and Candyman—which clock over Rs500 crore each in annual revenue.
Puri joined ITC in 1986, and has worked in almost all business verticals except hotels. He was appointed a whole-time director in December 2015 and appointed chief operating officer in July 2016.
After taking over as the executive leadership of the company, Puri had said he would toe Deveshwar’s line on expansion, while making the company more efficient in production and distribution.
Anand, who oversees the hotels business of ITC, has been with the company for almost four decades. He was managing director of the erstwhile ITC Hotels Ltd between 2003 and 2005, until the company was merged with its parent. He was appointed to the board of ITC in January 2011.
Tandon, who serves as the chief financial officer, was appointed whole-time director in January 2016.