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BW Businessworld

People In The News: The Big Gesture

Jet Airways replaced acting CEO Gaurang Shetty, who had taken up the position two months ago after CEO Cramer Ball resigned, with its new finance chief Amit Agarwal

Photo Credit : Bloomberg

Jeff Weiner sure knows how to appease anxious employees. Following LinkedIn’s dismal earnings in February, which caused the company’s market value to drop significantly, Weiner declared he was giving away his annual $14 million stock bonus to boost employee morale — and keep talent from jumping ship. Though his gift is an impressive gesture, he isn’t feeling the pinch as he owns about $12.7 million in company stock, and $57.5 million in vested options.

The Disconnect
The CEO of India’s second-largest phone manufacturer Micromax, Vineet Taneja, has formally resigned after rumours of his exit first surfaced in January. His is the second high-profile departure within a year, amid falling sales in the face of competition from cheaper Chinese handsets. While Micromax said that Taneja had left to pursue other opportunities, it is speculated that he was finding it difficult to implement his vision for the company as his ideas were apparently clashing with those of its promoters, namely Rahul Sharma, Rajesh Agarwal, Vikas Jai and Sumeet Kumar.

New Gig At The Pentagon
The former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, now executive chairman of its parent company Alphabet, is about to start helping the military improve what it does by borrowing concepts and ideas straight from Silicon Valley. Schmidt will chair the new 12-person Defense Innovation Advisory Board, which is being brought in to help the organisation use tools such as rapid prototyping, complex data analysis… mobile and cloud applications.

RIP Mail-man
Ray Tomlinson, the inventor of email and the man who picked the @ symbol for addresses, died aged 74 on 5 March. His employer Raytheon Co. confirmed his death, but couldn’t provide details or confirm the cause of death. The tech world reacted with sadness over the passing of Tomlinson, who became a cult figure for his invention in 1971 of a program for ARPANET, the Internet’s predecessor, that allowed people to send person-to-person messages to other computer users on other servers.

Jail Time
Marcelo Odebrecht, the former CEO of South America’s biggest construction company Odebrecht, has been sentenced to 19 years in prison for his involvement in a major corruption scandal centred on Brazil’s state oil company, Petrobras. The 47-year-old scion of a billionaire family was convicted of money laundering, corruption and organised crime. Prosecutors allege that Odebrecht skimmed billions of dollars from Petrobras through inflated contracts.

Filling The Void
Mrugank Paranjape has been appointed as the new managing director and CEO of Multi-Commodity Exchange, India’s largest commodity exchange, nearly two years after Manoj Vaish, the then incumbent MD & CEO put in his papers. Since May 2014, the exchange was functioning without an MD. The latest appointment will be for a period of three years.

Change Of Guard
Jet Airways replaced acting CEO Gaurang Shetty, who had taken up the position two months ago after CEO Cramer Ball resigned, with its new finance chief Amit Agarwal. Shetty will go back to his previous role of senior vice-president, commercial. It is said the change was implemented as Shetty is a member of the board and it is company policy that an executive in the position of CEO should be distinguishable from a board member.

DCHL Saviour?
According to a pink paper, Manoj Mohanka, former chairman of Network 18 Media and a finance and management expert, is preparing to acquire ailing media house Deccan Chronicle Holdings (DCHL). The former president of Calcutta Chambers of Commerce has accepted a proposal from DCHL’s stakeholder, Srei Infrastructure Finance, to infuse fresh capital into the media house.