Deepak Parekh will formally relinquish his position as the chief executive officer of Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) on December 31. It is an important milestone in his career spent in first making HDFC one of India’s well-respected housing finance institutions and then transforming it into a diversified financial services conglomerate.
Keki Mistry, who was the vice-chairman and managing director, will now be the VC and chief executive officer. In a sense, the company has split the role of chairman and chief executive officer into two, a better structure from a governance viewpoint. Mr Parekh will remain as the non-executive chairman of the company.
Keki Mistry has spent 16 years on the board of the company and has the experience of running the company as its managing director. Mr Parekh is a larger than life figure in India’s financial services sector. HDFC started off as a housing company but has promoted some of India’s best known financial brands like HDFC Bank, HDFC Mutual Fund and HDFC Standard Life (a life insurance company). A veteran troubleshooter, he is trusted by India’s biggest business houses and the government itself, recently making it to the headlines for helping steering Satyam Computer Services out of the mess its promoters created. As chairman his role in HDFC may diminish on paper, but he will remain a significant influence in its future.
Among the other appointments, Renu Sud Karnad, joint managing director, has been promoted as HDFC’s managing director. She will continue to look after operations, human resources and communications. V Srinivasa Rangan, senior general manager and treasurer, will move up as an executive director on the board, to replace the position created by Mr Parekh stepping down from his executive position. The changes will be effective January 1, 2010. The leadership transition has been a smooth one and signals continuation. Unlike other succession events, there are no expectations of a change in the company’s long term strategy or style of functioning.