Malavika Hegde, the wife of billionaire coffee entrepreneur V.G. Siddhartha Hegde, who died under mysterious circumstances in Mangaluru, may be appointed as chairperson & managing director of Coffee Day Enterprises.
“She is already on the board of the company and the board will have to discuss the possibility of delegating to her bigger responsibilities. But all these things can happen only when she recovers from the personal trauma she’s suffered,” said a top company source on condition of anonymity.
Siddhartha was the CMD of the company and on confirmation of his death, the board of Coffee Day Enterprises on Wednesday appointed former IAS officer and a member, S.V. Ranganath , as interim chairman.
The board has also appointed Nitin Bagmane as an interim Chief Operating Officer of the Company.
“The board met today to take stock of the situation and also to put a working structure in place of the company. It will meet again on August 8th,’’ the source added.
The board constituted an executive committee comprising Mr. Ranganath, Mr. Bagmane and R. Ram Mohan (CFO) to exercise the powers previously vested with the Chief Executive Officer of the Company and the Administrative Committee constituted by the Board in 2015.
The Executive Committee will explore opportunities to deleverage the Coffee Day Group.
In a stock exchange filing the company said, the board took note of a message from Mrs. Malvika Hegde who was also on the board expressing support and trust in the company’s management team.
It further said, the authenticity of the letter purported to be written by Siddhartha cannot be verified as of now.
“While the authenticity of the letter is unverified and it is unclear whether these statements pertain to the Company or the personal holdings of VG Siddhartha, the Board took serious note of the same and resolved to thoroughly investigate this matter,’’ the company said in the filing.
The Board took cognizance of statements in the purported letter from Siddhartha relating to financial transactions outside the knowledge of the senior management, auditors and the Board.
The Board will, in due course, prepare a detailed charter of authorities vested in the Executive Committee and approve the same, it said.
It seems the company is yet to establish the authenticity of the letter. “It is unclear whether these statements pertain to the company or the personal holdings of Mr. V. G. Siddhartha,” it said. The company is readying for a “thorough investigation” to get to the bottom of the situation that led to the sudden disappearance and death of the entrepreneur.
The Board of Coffee Day has appointed Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas as its legal counsel to advise the company on the foregoing and related matters, it said in a filing.