Monday, March 12, 2012

A.M.Naik and L&T

It was expected that A.M.Naik would find it difficult to gracefully move away from L&T given his penchant for hard work and zealous commitment to the company he nurtured so long. Yet the arrangement that has been made known does not seem to be in the best interests of the company.

Naik would now be executive Chairman and R.Venkataramanan, his protege would be CEO & MD. The talent of both is unquestionable. The question is how free would the CEO be to manage the company. Without freedom, would he be accountable?

Naik could have chosen to become non-executive Chairman. Such an arrangement would give some breathing space to CEO and would also enable Naik to disassociate from day-to-day issues. Naik had shown extraordinary courage and corporate commitment when he mobilised the entire company against an imminent takeover by the Ambanis and creeping acquisition by the Aditya Birla group. He should not dissipate the goodwill that he had earned. He should be more like Rahul Dravid than like Sachin Tendulkar.

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