New Delhi: Aditya Birla Group (ABG) chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla has resigned as non-executive chairman and director of cash-strapped Vodafone Idea (Vi). The development casts further gloom at a time when the telco is desperately trying to raise funds and seek government aid to continue operations. Himanshu Kapania, currently non-executive director and the former managing director of the erstwhile Idea Cellular before its merger with Vodafone India will replace Birla.
Birla’s move to step down as the chairman of Vodafone Idea comes a day after it became known that he had written to cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba, offering to relinquish Aditya Birla Group’s stake in the company to any government-approved entity. In his letter, Birla cited the dire financial position of Vodafone Idea and its imminent collapse as the chief reasons for the offer.
“It’s clear that he feels that continuing as the chairman after offering to relinquish the stake will not be morally correct,” said a former Aditya Birla Group official who declined to be named. “In any case, it is natural for him to personally distance himself from the company even though the group’s representation in the board will continue like before,” the person said.