Subhash Chandra steps down as Chairman of ZEEL

As per media reports, ZEEL has said in the exchange filing that Chandra will continue as Non-Executive Director

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Nov 25, 2019 7:36 PM  | 5 min read
Subhash Chandra

Subhash Chandra stepped down as the Chairman of ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) on Monday.  

As per media reports, ZEEL has said in the exchange filing that Chandra will continue as Non-Executive Director.

The Subhash Chandra-backed Essel Group will become a minority shareholder, however, retaining management control, news reports have said.

While accepting his resignation, the board has said that this is in line with the Sebi Listing Regulations that prohibit chairperson of the board from being related to the managing director or the chief executive officer of the company, ZEEL said in a regulatory filing on Monday.

Chandra and Punit Goenka will continue on Zee Board as Essel Group representatives, reports said. Goenka will remain CEO and the promoters will retain control over Zee management because Invesco, the largest stakeholder,  hasn't shown interest in board seat or management control. 

The Board of ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) during a meeting held on Monday completed the process of reconstitution of the board and appointed three new independent directors in lieu of two independent and one nominee Director of Essel Group, namely Niharika Vora, Sunil Sharma and Subodh Kumar, respectively.

The Founder of ZEE and the pioneer of India's private satellite television industry, Chandra, during the meeting, expressed his intent to step aside as the Chairman of the Company, which he founded in 1992. The Board accepted his resignation and applauded his vision for the company and the industry at large. While  Chandra stepped aside from the Chair, he also expressed the desire to step aside as a board member. However, he will continue as a board member and also continue to be the 'mentor' to the executive management and its MD & CEO.

The reconstitution of the board was to strengthen and induct independent members with varied experiences to build value and provide a strong signal to the existing and new institutional investors who have recently reposed their faith in the intrinsic value of the company, by investing Rs 4770 Crore. The reconstituted board consists of six independent directors and two members from the Essel Group.

Profiles of the New Board Members:

R. Gopalan, Master of Public Administration & Management from Harvard University, MA in Economics from Boston University and Bachelor's in Chemistry from Madras University, has a rich experience on economic affairs with long innings in the Ministry of Commerce & Industries. As an Officer of Indian Administrative Services (lAS), Gopalan held various responsible positions including inter alia, as Member of Public Enterprises Selection Board; Secretary Department of Company Affairs; Secretary Department of Financial Services, CMD Tamilnadu Industrial Development Corporation, CMD Tami Nadu Newsprints and Papers Ltd, MD Tidel Parks Ltd, MD Tamilnadu Agro Industries Corporation Ltd, Director Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals etc.

During his career span of over 25 years, Gopalan gained rich experience in establishing and managing Venture Capital Fund; Infrastructure financing, Managing Financial Institutions, Creating Institutions & Corporates, leading Indian negotiation team in WTO, formulating policy(ies} etc. Currently, Gopalan serves as Member on the Board of Directors & Audit Committee of Sundaram Clayton Ltd, Board of Hindustan Power Projects Pvt Ltd, Chairman of ANA ARC Ltd (an Advisory Board of Start-up fund). Gopalan also serves as Strategy consultants to a few Companies.

Surendra Singh, BA in Political Science and MA in History, is a retired IPS with experience in all matters pertaining to Security management including cybersecurity and forensic; risk analysis; data analysis; intelligence; security audit; protection of intellectual property and people/asset management. Apart from the education qualification mentioned above and after graduating from the National Police Academy, Hyderabad, Singh had attended many courses / development programs including inter alia Course of Indian Revenue Services - Income tax, Basic course at Civil Defence & Fire Service, Management Development Program at Indian Institute of Public Administration, Overseas Command Course at Wakefield, UK; Major Case Management Course at Washington DC under the aegis of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) etc.

Surendra Singh has had an illustrious career of over three decades in Indian Police Services (IPS), including inter alia as Head/Joint Director/Additional Director/Special Director of Intelligence Bureau; First Secretary (Consular) in the High Commission of India at Dhaka- Bangladesh; Director-General of CISF etc. During his professional career, Singh was awarded the India Police Medal for Meritorious Service (2001) and President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service (2007). 

Aparajita Jain, an Arts Graduate, is a professional with rich experience in Contemporary Arts including as Executive Director of Nature Marte Art Ltd, a leading contemporary art gallery, Founding/Council Member of Harvard University's South Asia Arts Council, Founder of Saat Saath Arts (Society) among others. Jain is a patron of India's very first biennale, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale and was listed as one of 50 iconic Indian gallerists by Platform magazine.

Jain was listed as one among eight Extraordinary Together influential women in the Indian art world by ARTSY; one of 30 influential women in the art world by ELLE magazine; and amongst the top 100 creatives by Harpers Bazaar. She was recently bestowed with Entrepreneur of the Year award by FICc/ FLO for her contribution to art and is currently on the advisory board of ICCR and International Sculpture Foundation. Jain holds Directorship in Durant India Ltd, TRR Properties Ltd, Nature Morte Art Ltd, Saat Saath Arts {Society} and Stifl Leven Productions {P} Ltd.

The Board also intends to onboard members who would bring additional skill sets including Digital Transformation. The reconstituted board conducted their first meeting on November 22nd, which was chaired by Gopalan, Former Finance Secretary of India.

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