ITC re-appoints Deveshwar as chair; scouts for successor

In a widely expected move, Yogesh (Yogi) Chander Deveshwar (64) has been reappointed as chairman of ITC Ltd for another five years, which will make him the longest serving chairman of the company.

In a notice to stock exchanges and investors announcing its upcoming annual general meeting, the tobacco-to-hospitality group said its board has cleared his extension as chairman with effect from 5 February, 2012 for a period of five years.

However in a clear indication that this is part of its succession planning, ITC said within his new tenure, he may become a non-executive chairman to pave the way for a successor, in which case the board will take a fresh look at his remuneration.

 A resolution to this effect will be placed before shareholders for approval at the company's AGM. Deveshwar received a compensation of Rs8.39 crore for the year to March 2011.

During his 15-year tenure, he oversaw the transformation of what was basically a tobacco company into a diversified group with a growing presence in fast moving consumer goods, agri-business, and information technology, and hotels.

He also successfully lowered temperatures during a public dispute with BAT Plc, and the UK firm continues to own more than 30 per cent of ITC.