In a major senior level restructuring at India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd on Thursday, three of the four highest ranked Indians in the top management were sidelined.
Sources said the directive for these changes came directly from Suzuki chairman Osamu Suzuki, and was aimed at ‘punishing’ those held responsible for the spate of labour unrest that plagued the fir m between 2011 and 2012.
MM Singh, chief operating officer (production) and SY Siddiqui, COO, administration have been re-designated ‘chief mentor’. COO (supply chain), Sudam Maitra, has been given other operational duties.
Singh and Maitra have been replaced by Rajiv Gandhi and Deepak Sethi respectively. Siddiqui’s broad portfolio, which included human resource, finance, information and technology, company law and legal departments, has been scrapped altogether, and those who had been reporting to him would now report directly to Kenichi Ayukawa, managing director and CEO at Maruti.
The high-profile restructur ing was anticipated in the wake of the labour unrest in 2011 that was followed by violence at the Manesar factory in 2012 and a month-long lockout at the plant A senior human resource executive was killed in the violence.
“Osamu Suzuki has repeatedly in the past bemoaned that none of the Indian executives ever took responsibility for the labour unrest,” said a senior official at Maruti. “None of the Indian chief executives had any idea about this restructuring. Only senior-level Japanese executives and possibly RC Bhargava (non-executive chairman) were aware of it.”
All the three executives and Maruti’s spokesperson could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.