New Delhi: Shekhar Gupta resigned on Monday after 15 years as the editor-in-chief of The Indian Express newspaper.

“Goodbye notes can be heartwarming or heartbreaking. On a rare occasion they can be both. This is one such. It is time for me to say goodbyes at the Express—for the second time. The first was exactly at the same time of the year in 1983 when most of you were not born yet," Gupta wrote in an email to employees of the Express Group.

The newspaper, Gupta said, was in “very good hands of home-grown leaders".

Anant Goenka, director and head of new media at the Express Group and son of Express Group chairman Viveck Goenka, confirmed that Gupta has resigned.

“Express has been blessed with a history of several iconic editors. I’ve known Shekhar uncle closely. He’s been a family friend for over 19 years. He’s done incredible work at Express and maintained the ethos and values of our group. I’ve learnt a lot from him. I wish him all the best for his future endeavours," said Goenka.

Gupta started working at The Indian Express as a reporter in 1977 and continued to work for the publication for 25 years in two innings.

In his farewell mail, Gupta praised the owners and publishers of the Indian Express Group—Viveck Goenka, the adopted son of the late newspaper baron Ramnath Goenka, for preserving editorial freedom within the organization.

“We are such a fun gang, topped by a large-hearted proprietor who pretty much distributes all that the company earns back to us. As generous compensations, great working conditions, never a resource spared in pursuit of a story. No call ever to kill a story once it passes our highest and the most exacting editorial bars and filters."

Gupta will stay on at the Express Group till 15 June.

The Indian Express Ltd, which publishes The Indian Express, The Financial Express and Marathi newspaper Loksatta, is likely to appoint an editorial head from within the organization, said an executive at the group.

The executive dismissed speculation that Prabhu Chawla, editorial director of The New Indian Express and Sunday Standard, will replace Gupta. A formal announcement from the Express Group is expected on Tuesday on the editorial changes within the group.

In a separate development, Rajdeep Sardesai, editor-in-chief of IBN 18 Network, said he will take a month long sabbatical from the newsroom, a week after Reliance Industries Ltd took complete control of Network18 Media and Investments Pvt Ltd.

“..after a long and wearying (and highly enjoyable) election season, I am taking a short break from the newsroom (haven’t taken one in over a year!). I will be on a month’s leave: reading, writing, travelling, watching the world cup soccer, and, hopefully, recharging the mind. Aim to be back on the 1st of July," Sardesai wrote in an internal email to employees. His wife Sagarika Ghose, deputy editor at CNN-IBN, will also be on leave till July.

Publications of the Express Group compete with those of HT Media Ltd, the publisher of Mint, in some markets.

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