Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd on Wednesday named independent director SV Ranganath as the interim chairman after the body of founder-owner VG Siddhartha was found on the banks of the Netravati river near Mangaluru earlier in the day.
The Coffee Day Enterprises board, where Siddhartha’s wife Malavika Hegde is also a director, met earlier in the day to put in place a working structure of the company. “The board appointed SV Ranganath as the interim chairman and Nitin Bagmane as an interim chief operating officer (COO) of the company,” Coffee Day Enterprises, which runs India’s biggest coffee chain CCD, said in a regulatory filing.
It also constituted an executive committee comprising Ranganath, COO Nitin Bagmane and CFO R Ram Mohan “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 statement said.
“The board will, in due course, prepare a detailed charter of authorities vested in the Executive Committee and approve the same,” the filing said.
Siddhartha, the son-in-law of former Karnataka chief minister SM Krishna, was first reported missing on Monday evening by his driver, who was the last to see him. He had instructed his driver to drop him off at a bridge over the river en route Sakleshpur near Hassan.
Hours before his disappearance, Siddhartha had called his personal staff at the Cafe Coffee Day head office in Bengaluru and informed them about a letter to be disseminated. The purported letter referred to the “tremendous pressure” he was under from lenders and “harassment” from Income Tax officials. And that he was “very sorry to let down all the people that put their trust in me”.
The shares of CCD further plummeted 20 per cent to hit its lowest trading permissible limit for the day.