Mukesh Ambanichas stepped down as director of Trust Jioas of June 27.
- His son
Akash Ambanihas been appointed chairman of the board.
- The timing of the move — ahead of the 5G spectrum auctions — suggests the Mukesh Ambani clan is paving the way for the highly anticipated Jio IPO later.
Mukesh Ambani has stepped down as director of Reliance Jio on June 27 and has appointed his eldest son Akash Ambani as chairman of the board.
There has long been speculation about the elevation of Brown university student Akash. He was part of multiple announcements related to the company such as the launch of operations in 2016 and the JioPhone later.
The 30-year-old is also known to have played a pivotal role in the significant deal between the telco and tech giant Facebook – the latter acquiring a 9.99% stake in the company with an investment of nearly ₹44,000 crore. .
A successful succession plan in the making
This move also brings up Mukesh Ambani’s carefully curated succession planning that divides his vast empire between his children. His daughter Isha Ambani and Akash’s twin brother have been associated with yet another business that Mukesh Ambani has built almost from scratch: retail.
Stanford-educated Isha has been the director of Reliance Retail since 2014 and has masterminded the signing of many brand partnerships and also helped launch his lifestyle portal, Ajio.
Both Isha and Akash have been directors of both retail and Jio companies, but today’s move could be interpreted as an unofficial division. A succession plan that can avoid a fight like the one he got involved in with his brother, Anil Ambani. Both Mukesh and Anil worked together in the former Reliance Industries until his father Dhirubhai Ambani died without leaving a will.
Reliance’s split and lawsuits lasted for years with asset squabbles, defamation cases, public defamation, and more.
Mukesh Ambani’s youngest son, Anant Ambani, has yet to officially join the company, although he is known as a director of the company.
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At the juxtaposition of 5G and 500 million
Telecom has always been Mukesh Ambani’s favorite project. Reliance Infocomm, which later went into his brother’s kitty after the split, was always known as close to his heart. This time, however, he is willingly giving away the company he has rebuilt and has grown to become one of the most formidable players in a largely truncated telecom market.
His son’s elevation as chairman of Reliance Jio — one of RIL’s many crown jewels — shows that Ambani Sr. ready to pass the baton.
Akash will lead Jio at a critical time when the telecom sector is all set to upgrade to the next level – with 5G spectrum auctions on the horizon. While his father has built the telecom company along with his brand, after 5G he will have to run the business again – as 5G speeds are aimed at businesses rather than consumers.
Akash will also have to help Jio himself to reach the goal of 500 million subscribers, which has been a long time coming. On the other hand, there is yet another target – the IPO of the telecom business – an acid test that every young Ambani must pass with flying colors.
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