Kumar Mangalam Birla steps down as Vodafone Idea's Non Executive Chairman
IANS 05 August 2021
Kumar Mangalam Birla has stepped down as the Non-Executive Director and Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Vodafone Idea Ltd.
 
In a regulatory filing, the company said that the company has accepted the request of Birla to step down.
 
"The Board of Directors of Vodafone Idea Limited, at its meeting held today, have accepted the request of Kumar Mangalam Birla to step down as Non-Executive Director and Non-Executive Chairman of the Board with effect from close of business hours on 4th August, 2021," it said.
 
Consequently, the board has unanimously elected Himanshu Kapania, currently a Non-Executive Director, as the Non-Executive Chairman.
 
Kapania, a nominee of the Aditya Birla Group, is a telecom industry veteran with 25 years of experience. This includes significant board experience in telecom companies globally.
 
He has also served on the Global GSMA Board for two years and was also the Chairman of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) for two years. He is presently the Chairman of the FICCI Council on Telecom, Electronics and Digital Economy.
 
Further, based on recommendation of Nomination and Remuneration Committee, the Board has appointed Sushil Agarwal, a nominee of Aditya Birla Group, as an Additional Director (Non-Executive and Non Independent) with effect from August 4. Agarwal is not related to any other Director of the company and is not debarred from holding the office of Director by virtue of any SEBI order or any other authority.
 
Birla's resignation comes days after it became public that he had written to the Cabinet Secretary that he is willing to hand over his stake in the debt-ridden company to government entities in a bid to keep the company operational.
 
Vodafone Idea which already is in weak financial shape owes Rs 50,399.63 crore as AGR dues. It has already paid Rs 7,854.37 crore.
 
In his letter to the Cabinet Secretary, Birla warned of a "looming crisis" and offered to transfer his 27.66 per cent stake in the telco to "any public sector/government/ domestic financial entity, or any other the government may consider worthy, - to keep (VIL) going".
 
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