These are the first clear signs of Ambani's succession plan.
Mukesh Ambani has resigned from the board of Reliance Jio, with his eldest son Akash Ambani taking over as chairman.
In a stock exchange filing, Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited said the company’s board “approved the appointment of Akash M Ambani, non-executive director, as chairman of the board of directors of the company”.
It is believed that his daughter Isha will take over as chair of Reliance’s retail arm.
Akash and twin sister Isha have been on the boards of Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL) and Jio Platforms Limited (JPL) since October 2014.
These are the first clear signs of Ambani’s succession plan.
Meanwhile, youngest son Anant was recently named as a director of RRVL. He has been a director on JPL since May 2020.
Among other appointments, Pankaj Mohan Pawar was appointed Managing Director of Reliance Jio Infocomm for five years, starting from June 27, 2022.
Former union finance secretary Raminder Singh Gujral and former CVC KV Chowdary were appointed independent directors.
The two are already on the board of Reliance Industries.
The announcement presents a clear transfer of wealth by Mukesh Ambani, who was embroiled in an inheritance dispute with his younger brother after their father died in 2002 without a will.
Mukesh Ambani continues to be the chairman of Jio Platforms. His wife Nita is also on the board of Reliance.
He will also continue to be the chairman of Jio Platforms Ltd – the flagship company that owns all Jio digital services brands including Reliance Jio Infocomm.
Mukesh Ambani first spoke of a succession plan on December 28, 2021, at Reliance Family Day, which marks the birth anniversary of the group’s founder Dhirubhai Ambani.
Ambani had said Reliance is “now in the process of effecting a momentous leadership transition”.
In June 2021, he had indicated that his children would find a prominent place in the family’s vast empire.
He had said: “I have no doubt whatsoever that the next generation of leaders at Reliance, led by Isha, Akash and Anant, will further enrich this precious legacy.”
The succession plan comes at a time when Reliance is in the middle of a very expensive switch to clean fuels by investing across the entire value chain of solar, batteries and hydrogen.
In Reliance’s new structure, different business verticals will be run like independent businesses.
There will be no interdependencies between group companies for raising capital or debt servicing.
The Ambani family is also consolidating its ownership in the company.