ANSWER: Tata Motors
Tata Motors, India biggest automobile company, has appointed PB Balaji as its new group chief financial officer (CFO) who will take over the reins from CR Ramakrishnan.
Balaji, who will take over from November this year, has been working with Hindustan Unilever as its CFO since 2014. He started his career with Unilever in 1995.
Ramakrishnan who is set to retire next month will be the second high-profile exit in Tata Motors separated by a few months.
Executive director (commercial vehicles) Ravi Pisharody quit the company in June
Balaji’s appointment comes at a time when Tata Motors is battling market share loss in commercial vehicles and competitive pressures in passenger vehicles.
Tata Motors has decide to focus solely on returning to profitability (at the stand-alone level) and improving market share in both categories.
The company has shelved and postponed a few projects which it believed were cash guzzlers and not in line to achieve the desired objectives.
Balaji is a graduate of Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai and has a post-graduate management degree from Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata.
CR Ramakrishnan, 62, joined Tata Motors in 1980; he handled corporate treasury and accounting function with management accounting/MIS for over 15 years.
Thereafter, he held a two-year company-wide Systems and Business Process project responsibility covering R&D, Manufacturing, Sourcing and Sales & Service.
Subsequently, he served in the Group Chairman’s Office for 8 years before taking over as Chief Financial Officer in Tata Motors from Praveen Kadle. He had got elevated as Group CFO in July 2015.
The highlight of Ramakrishnan’s career was the successful takeover of UK’s luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford which Tata Motors bought in 2008 for USD 2.3 billion.