Senior executive exits at Maruti trigger talk of glass ceiling

  • Sumant Banerji, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 13, 2014 23:05 IST

A major churn is underway at India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki with some of its top Indian executives finding themselves at odds with the management of parent firm Suzuki Motor Corp.

The company has seen the exit of two senior-level Indian executives in the last few months and two more have been sidelined from their executive roles. The rejig is far from routine and reinforces what some see as a glass ceiling that top ranking executives face on the possibility of an appointment of an Indian in an executive position.

Earlier this year, Maruti had sidelined two top-level executives — MM Singh, chief operating officer, production, SY Siddiqui, COO, HR and administration, robbing them of their executive powers and appointing them instead as chief mentors.

Around the same time, Sudam Maitra, who was incharge of supply chain, had also quit to join IFB, while Mayank Pareek, who headed the marketing and sales division, also left to join rival Tata Motors last week.

“The time has come for a change and we have to change,” said Kenichi Ayukawa, MD and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd while referring to the exits and growth obstacles faced by Indian executives. “It is necessary for us to survive in this tough market.”

Maruti, which was a public sector enterprise not long ago, has not had an Indian on the board in an executive role since the retirement of Jagdish Khattar in 2008.

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