NEW DELHI: Passing the baton to the next generation, Mukesh Ambani has resigned from the board of Reliance Jio, the telecom arm of the oil-to-retail conglomerate Reliance Industries (RIL), and handed over the company’s reins to their son Akash.
The $217 billion company in a statement said its board approved on June 27, 2022, the appointment of Akash Ambani as Chairman of the Board. Akash has also been appointed as a non-executive director of Reliance Jio Infocomm.
“While the choice of succession was apparent, the timing of the decision is progressive. Akash was already inducted into the family business about 8 years back and has held important positions in the Jio business, giving him enough time to get exposure to the business. He's getting an opportunity to lead the business from the front at an early age of 31 years, which gives him a great length of the runway to take the business to new heights,” said Bhavishya Sharma, MD, and founder, of Athena Executive Search and Consulting (AESC).
The Board also approved the appointment of Pankaj Mohan Pawar as managing director of Jio for a period of 5 years from June 27, 2022, as well as Raminder Singh Gujral and K V Chowdary, as additional directors of the firm. Raminder Singh Gujral and K.V. Chowdary have been designated as independent directors for a period of 5 years commencing on June 27, 2022.
As per the company, Jio recognises the specific contributions made by Akash to the digital services journey and rededicates him to even higher levels of responsibilities, going forward. He led key acquisitions made by Jio in the past few years and has also been involved with the development of new technologies and capabilities including AI-ML and blockchain. Thus, the company expects Akash to continue to operate at the cutting edges of innovation and technology to encourage an ecosystem that will further digital solutions and make the power of data and technology more accessible to all, including those who are still at the margin.
Meanwhile, 65-year-old Mukesh Ambani continues to be Chairman of Jio Platforms, the flagship company that owns all Jio digital services brands, including Reliance Jio Infocomm. Ambani has 3 children - twins Akash and Isha and the youngest son Anant. It is expected that Ambani may hand over the reins of the retail business to Isha, 30, who is married to Anand Piramal (son of Piramal Group’s Ajay and Swati Piramal).