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Indian Hotels’ MD and CEO Rakesh Sarna resigns

LiveMint logoLiveMint 26-05-2017 Bidya Sapam

Mumbai: Indian Hotels Co. Ltd (IHCL), a part of the Tata group, on Friday said its managing director and chief executive Rakesh Sarna had resigned for personal reasons.

“The board of directors have taken on record his resignation, and his resignation will be effective from close of business hours on 30 September 2017,” the company said in a filing to BSE.

Tata Sons Ltd and IHCL chairman N. Chandrasekaran said Sarna had chosen to resign on the completion of his tenure. “The board respects his decision and has requested him to continue till 30 September 2017 which he has kindly agreed to,” said Chandrasekaran.

Sarna came on board at the Tata group firm in August 2014 after being handpicked by ousted group chairman Cyrus Mistry to replace Raymond Bickson, the then CEO and MD.

Sarna is a hospitality industry veteran, having spent more than three decades with the Hyatt Hotels Corp. “It has been an honour to serve the Tata Group and I would like to thank my board members and colleagues for their support during my stint at IHCL,” Sarna said in a statement.

On 5 November, seven independent directors on the IHCL board, including prominent corporate leaders like Deepak Parekh, Nadir Godrej and Keki Dadiseth, had backed Mistry when he was ousted as chairman of the group.

The hotel firm posted a stand-alone net profit that fell 55% to Rs31 crore in the March quarter from Rs69 crore a year earlier. Revenue rose 3% to Rs707 crore from a year ago.

For the full year, its consolidated net loss narrowed to Rs63 crore from Rs231 crore in the previous fiscal year.

IHCL has been looking to pare its debt by selling some of its assets. Last year the firm sold its Taj Boston property for Rs839 crore to a consortium of US-based investors. As of 31 March, its consolidated net debt stood at Rs3,151 crore.

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