Jet Airways replaces acting CEO Gaurang Shetty, fifth change in last two and half years
A senior executive said it was implemented as Shetty is a member of the board and "it is company policy that an executive in the position of CEO should be distinguishable from a board member".
Shetty will go back to his previous role of senior vice president, commercial. This is the fifth change at that position in the last two and half years. In a statement to the exchanges, Jet didn't explain the reason for this change. A senior executive said it was implemented as Shetty is a member of the board and "it is company policy that an executive in the position of CEO should be distinguishable from a board member". Meanwhile, the airline is on the lookout for a permanent CEO after the last one Cramer Ball resigned in December.
The executive cited above denied any possibility of Shetty quitting.
Still, frequent top management changes have been a concern for Jet's shareholders and industry watchers. Months after Jet completed a sale of 24% stake to Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, its then CEO Nikos Kardassis put in his papers. Less than seven months later, his successor Gary Toomey quit. Four months after that, its then acting CEO Ravishankar Gopalakrishnan left the airline. Cramer Ball joined the same month and spent close to a year and half with the airline. Meanwhile Jet lost other top level executives such its head of investor relations, commercial, strategy, cargo and its chief operating officer.
Agarwal joined Jet in December. He was previously CEO of Suzlon Energy. Agarwal was part of a team which made efforts to repair the company's beleagured finances, selling a 23% stake to Sun Pharmaceutical Industries' owner Dilip Shangvi. Under his watch, Suzlon also sold its German arm Senvion (formerly RE Power) to US-based venture capital fund Centerbridge Partners.