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People In The News: No Harm Done

The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki has extended the tenure of its managing director and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa by another three years, with effect from 1 April 2016

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No hacker can get to the Bansals! “Flipkart’s corporate email system leverages the highest standards of security.” The e-commerce giant said this after a newspaper reported that CEO Binny Bansal’s email account had been hacked. According to the report, his account was spoofed by hackers who were trying to swindle money from the company’s coffers. They forged Bansal’s email header and sent two emails to the chief financial officer of Flipkart demanding transfer of $80,000 to an account. The emails were sent from a server in Russia, the daily said.

Grave Loss
Legendary Intel executive Andy Grove died 21 March at the age of 79. Grove, who was with Intel from its very inception, went on to become its president in 1979, CEO in 1987 and chairman in 1997. He was central to the company’s decision to shift its focus from memory to processor chips. Under Grove’s leadership, the famous “Intel Inside” slogan was born, becoming a staple of personal computing during the PC boom of the 1990s. Intel’s sales grew 13-fold during his tenure as CEO, from $2 billion to $26 billion.

Swift Succession
Budget carrier AirAsia India has appointed Amar Abrol as its next chief executive replacing Mittu Chandilya. Born and raised in India, Abrol graduated from Delhi university and is a chartered accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India with over 20 years of experience. Abrol was most recently the CEO of Tune Money (an AirAsia company), a startup that aims to deliver low-cost financial products in South-East Asia.

Paying The Price
Valeant Pharmaceuticals has asked longtime CEO Michael Pearson to resign as part of a series of steps to regain credibility and show investors it is committed to a fresh start. He will leave as soon as a successor is found. Under Pearson, who developed a strategy of buying companies and dramatically increasing the price of undervalued drugs, Valeant was a stock market darling. However, his “price gouging” strategy has been attacked by the Republicans, and Valeant called before Congress to explain.

From Behind The Wall
As has become customary during his visits to international cities, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg went for a run with his team in Beijing as part of his “Year of Running” project. However, when he posted a shot of the Facebook team in Tiananmen Square, FB users criticised Zuckerberg for not wearing a mask as he jogged through the smoggy city. Some commenters also questioned how he was able to post on FB from China where the social networking service is blocked.

Soaring Stock
PepsiCo Inc. awarded CEO Indra Nooyi a $26.4 million pay package for 2015, an 18 per cent increase, after she helped offset the effect of a stronger dollar by cutting more than $1 billion in costs. Nooyi received $13.9 million in cash bonuses and a stock award of $6.25 million that will vest depending on how PepsiCo’s stock performs relative to its peers over the next three years.

A Lost Case
One week after JWT global communications chief Erin Johnson filed suit against chairman and CEO Gustavo Martinez accusing him of “an unending stream of racist and sexist comments” that made it “virtually impossible” for her to do her job, the embattled executive has resigned. The agency’s parent company WPP confirmed that Martinez will be replaced by its chief client team officer Tamara Ingram, effective immediately.

Extended Run
The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki has extended the tenure of its managing director and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa by another three years, with effect from 1 April 2016. The 61-year-old had taken over at the helm of Maruti Suzuki on 1 April 2013 after the retirement of predecessor Shinzo Nakanishi.