Malvinder says Sayonara to Ranbaxy

Updated on May 24, 2009 09:04 PM IST

Malvinder Mohan Singh has stepped down as chairman, managing director and chief executive of India's largest pharmaceuticals company, Ranbaxy Laboratories, which was acquired last year by Japan's Daiichi Sankyo.

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Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

It is a change of guard with a touching reminder — globalisation is a two-way street in which Indian companies can shop for giants overseas, but can lose their identity as well.

The country's largest pharmaceutical company Ranbaxy Laboratories on Sunday saw three of its 10 board members including Chairman, CEO and Managing Director Malvinder Singh stepping down with immediate effect, more than four years before his tenure was scheduled to end.

Singh will be addressing the employees of the company for the last time on Monday, bidding his adieu from the firm which Japan’s Daichii Sankyo group acquired last year for Rs 22,000 crore.

Ranbaxy was set up in 1937 by Ranbir and Gurbax Singh and was subsequently bought over by their cousin and Malvinder’s grandfather — Bhai Mohan Singh — in 1952.

While Chief Operating Officer Atul Sobti will take the reins as CEO, the new Chairman will be Dr Tsutomu Une, signalling that Ranbaxy is in effect a subsidiary of a Japanese firm.

Ranbaxy, which praised Singhin a statement, said the decisions were taken “amicably and in a mutually acceptable manner” but the sudden exit raised eyebrows.

“It was a difficult decision to separate from Ranbaxy,” said Singh in a Ranbaxy press release. “But it was the right time for me to do so.” He said the stage was set for further growth under a strong leadership.

The company said Singh exited to help accelerate the company's “innovative hybrid business model” and denied that the changes were linked to recent losses or Ranbaxy’s drugs and processes running into regulatory approval problems in the US.

Balwinder Dhillon and Sunil Budhwani also stepped down from the board of directors bringing down the number of Indians in the board of directors to four.

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