Friday, March 26, 2010

Is N RAM (The Hindu) on his way out!!!

Stripped of his powers by publisher and group Editor-in-Chief N Ram, Managing Director and his brother N Murali has hit back saying that he will not quit. And that he would try to “make Ram see reason and retire as Editor-in-Chief as committed by him in September 2009 and ensure a smooth transition.”

Ram, incidentally, has denied that he made such a commitment.

“Some members of the Board of Directors have been trying to systematically undermine and erode my authority and responsibilities and rights and obligations,” Murali wrote in an email to “colleagues” in the company today. “I will not allow that to happen.”

Murali, as The Indian Express reported today, is said to have proposed a retirement age for members of the board — one of the hot-button issues that polarised the board.

The board is split with one faction proposing that all directors retire at 65. Ram turns 65 in May. The other faction is opposed to the proposal.

Murali was blunt in his email: “At the Board meeting on 20th March, some Directors subjected me to utter humiliation and attempted disempowerment. I will resist all attempts to deny me my rights, responsibilities and duties as the Managing Director.”

When contacted by The Indian Express, Murali said his email was in response to a circular sent by Ram to heads of departments announcing a change in his designation and his role.

“The circular was sent announcing my re-designation as senior managing director whereas I am currently the managing director. Along with this, all my powers were substantially and purportedly removed. My post has been given to another board member,” said Murali. “My responsibilities have been farmed out to some other members on the board.”

While Murali declined to name the new appointee, sources said K Balaji, the younger brother of K Venugopal, currently the joint editor of The Hindu Business Line, has been appointed as managing director in place of Murali by the faction supporting Ram.

All in all exit of N Ram from the Hindu will be as chaotic as his rise!

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