According to a regulatory filing made this Tuesday, June 28, Reliance Industries’ subsidiary Reliance Jio has changed hands, with chairperson Mukesh Ambani handing over the reins to his elder son, Akash Ambani.
“The board of directors have at their meeting held on June 27, 2022 noted the resignation of Mr Mukesh D Ambani as director of the company effective from close of working hours on June 27, 2022,” read a statement delivered to India’s stock exchanges. The board also “approved the appointment of Akash M Ambani, non-executive director as chairman of the board of directors of the company.”
30-year-old Akash has been working with Jio since 2014, roughly a year before the telecom giant soft-launched in India. While he has over half a decade of experience in the sector to draw from, he will also be joined by two additional directors for the company, Raminder Singh Gujral, and K.V. Chowdary. Both businessmen are designated as ‘independent directors’, and are contracted to serve for five years in their roles, commencing from June 27, 2022.
As one of the most successful telecom companies in the world, Jio posted a net profit of Rs 4,173 crores in their last quarter — a record breaking figure for the company, which grew by over 20% over 2021 figures.
Curiously, the appointment led to a burst in ‘nepotism’ comments on Twitter:
Educated at Brown University, Akash held key responsibilities during the 2015-16 launch of Jio, and reportedly helped broker a deal between Jio and tech giant Facebook, which resulted in the latter acquiring a 9.99% stake in the company with an investment of nearly Rs 44,000 crore.
The move also marks the first big step in Mukesh Ambani’s succession plans, regarding the divvying up of his massive business empire. Akash’s twin sister Isha Ambani, for instance, has been associated with Reliance Retail, where the Stanford-graduate has served as a director since 2014.
It’s possible that the Reliance boss followed this structured succession plan following his earlier difficulties with brother Anil Ambani, some of which resulted from their father Dhirubhai Ambani passing away in 2002 without a will.
Mukesh Ambani’s youngest son Anant Ambani is yet to officially enter the family business, although he has directorships at Reliance Industries’ clean energy businesses.
(Featured Image Credits: Reliance Industries)