Bajaj’s resignation from the top post comes against the backdrop of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) rule that calls for a separation of the posts of chairman and managing director of top 500 listed companies.
It also says the chairperson of a company's board should be a non-executive director and should not be related to the MD or CEO. The rule has now been deferred by two years.
“The tenure of appointment of Rahul Bajaj
as executive chairman is expiring on March 31, 2020. Due to certain commitments and other preoccupation, Bajaj has decided not to continue as a whole-time director of the company after the expiry of his current term on March 31, 2020,” the company said in a notification to the stock exchanges on Thursday.
The company will seek shareholders’ approval through a special resolution, it said. On Wednesday, Bajaj Finserv, the group’s financial services business, also notified Bajaj’s resignation as chairman, including from subsidiaries Bajaj Finance and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.
Popular for his plain speak and harsh critique of the government’s policies since the pre-liberalisation era, the Padma Bhushan awardee is a Harvard Business School alumnus. He is known in corporate circles as the man who does not mince words when it comes to any matter of national interest, or echoing corporate India’s woes. On November 30, 2019, at an awards event organised by the Economic Times in Mumbai, Rahul Bajaj
said he was “born anti-establishment”.
In the 1970s, when Italy's Piaggio didn’t renew Bajaj's licence, he began manufacturing his own brand of scooters with names like Chetak and Super.