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SN Subrahmanyan may be L&T’s next MD & CEO SN Subrahmanyan may be L&T’s next MD & CEO

Jul-03-2015 | 0 Comments


MUMBAI: S N Subrahmanyan or SNS as he is popularly called, the youngest member in the six-member Larsen and Toubro (L&T) board at 54 is likely to take charge as managing director and chief executive officer of India's largest infrastructure engineering company as the present incumbent K Venkataramanan retires in September this year. Subrahmanyan, is also widely considered as one of the two contenders to replace L&T chairman A M Naik, 73, who gave himself a 5 year extension in 2012 to find a successor.

The composition of the L&T board is also expected to change by September, when the next board meeting is due. Besides, retiring MD & CEO K Venkataramanan, 70, the L&T board will see M V Kotwal, whole-time director and president- Heavy Engineering retiring at 67 in September, and thus leaving its board. Besides, Naik, the others on the board are R Shankar Raman, in mid-50's, whole time director and CFO, Shailendra Roy, 62, senior EVP (power, minerals and metals) S N Subrahmanyan, 54, whole time director and senior EVP (construction and infrastructure).

L&T is likely to announce the induction of two new board members and the elevation of SNS as its MD & CEO during its board meeting on September 9. An agenda for this board meeting is likely to have details on the induction of new members as this will be the last one for K Venkataramanan and M V Kotwal.

L&T is also looking at two potential candidates - one expat and another through lateral entry - to head its hydrocarbons division, which has been spun into a separate company and is likely to be listed in 2016 as K Venkataramanan who used to oversee it, retires in September.

"L&T needs to find a replacement for two of the retiring board members and needs to fill up the post of its MD & CEO before K Venkataramanan retires in September and S N Subrahmanyan is a strong contender for the post, given his experience and the businesses he handles," said a senior company official on the condition of anonymity.

When contacted by TOI, L&T in an e-mail reply said, "As a matter of policy, L&T does not comment on market speculation. When there is any senior level appointment for the positions mentioned, we will revert to you with the information."

Subrahmanyan, a civil engineer and management graduate besides being the youngest member on L&T's board has several achievements to his creditr. Besides, securing contracts for several prominent corporate buildings, he also managed EPC contracts for four major international airports in India at Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai. He also secured a major order for construction of Salalah Airport at Oman which is one of the largest international orders for L&T.

"L&T is considering a candidate through lateral entry to head L&T Hydrocarbons when KV retires in September," said an L&T board member. Another strong contender for this post is Giovanni Cerchiarin, whom L&T roped in from ENI of Italy last year and now is heading international hydrocarbons business of L&T based out of UAE.

Subrahmanyan currently looks after a bulk of the critical divisions of the company's business, which includes building and factories (airport, IT, health, leisure, hospitals, real estate), heavy civil infrastructure (metro, defence, hydel, ports, nuclear), transport infrastructure (roads and runways, railways), power transmission and distribution, and water and renewable energy.

Naik, meanwhile is planning to simplify its complex structure comprising 21 companies into seven broad verticals and many of them will be listed in the lines of L&T Finance with separate board and CEOs reporting directly to the chairman of L&T. This is to ensure that L&T's MD & CEO can focus on the core businesses.

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