Vedanta CEO resigns; zinc unit head named interim chief

Venkatakrishnan, who was previously CEO of AngloGold Ashanti, took over as Vedanta chief in 2018. Credit: Vedanta Resources Plc

Diversified miner Vedanta Ltd said on Friday Chief Executive Officer S Venkatakrishnan has resigned due to personal reasons, less than two years after he took the helm.

Sunil Duggal, current head of Vedanta unit Hindustan Zinc Ltd, will take over as interim CEO.

Venkatakrishnan, who was previously CEO of South African miner AngloGold Ashanti Ltd, took over as Vedanta chief in 2018 amid a rebound in metal prices.

Vedanta has been looking to expand its zinc, silver and oil and gas business and said in January that it would invest 600 billion Indian rupees ($8 billion).

The company was delisted from the London Stock Exchange in 2018, citing maturity of Indian capital markets.

Duggal is also president of the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries, the country’s biggest mining lobby group.

Shares of Vedanta have plunged more than 70% since Venkatakrishnan took over as CEO. Shares of Hindustan Zinc, the world’s second-largest zinc miner, have fallen about 50% in the same period.

The Indian government holds a 29.5% stake in Hindustan Zinc, which Vedanta has repeatedly said it would like to buy.

(By Arathy S Nair; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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