The weeklong controversy in Indian media world finally comes to an end. An internal communiqué served to senior most management at Hindustan Times, officially declared Rajan Kohli’s exit from the post of Executive President.
As the communiqué mentioned, Kohli had sought voluntary separation from Hindustan Times. exchange4media had broken this on Tuesday April 6 2004 in its story "Rajan Kohli likely to move out of Hindustan Times "
The controversy erupted after the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) appointed Kohli as Chairman, Delhi Regional Committee, replacing Sunil Dang. Kohli, however, refuted the chances of his quitting the group when contacted on April 4, though reliable sources in the media had confirmed that the promoters of Hindustan Times had decided to replace him and a formal announcement was soon to follow.
Kohli joined Hindustan Times in early 2000, when the company was embarking on large-scale expansion propositions. And, he has been instrumental in firming up HT’s position as one of the leading English dailies in North India. He is also credited with bringing in a high degree of professionalism in a predominantly promoter-led organisation.
HT officials reckoned Kohli as a man who brought in seasoned professionals, empowered them suitably and known to have given ample space to the team to deliver. But inside information has it that he was not forthcoming with hard decisions and was seen to be going soft on crucial matters.
However, confirming the news of his exit, the official statement quoted Shobhana Bhartiya, Chairperson, HT, as saying: “I would like to place on record how much I have enjoyed working with Rajan. He is a decent, straightforward human being of unimpeachable integrity whose honesty and directions have made it a pleasure to deal with him.”
The group is yet to set a date for Kohli’s official departure, said the communiqué. Extending her warm wishes to him, Bhartiya said, “Until such time that Rajan is with HT, he will continue to hold all his charges.”
(First run on the site at 7 pm on April 07, 2004)