Suneel M Advani, Managing Director and Chairman of Blue Star and the son of its founder Mohan Advani, has stepped down and will be replaced by Shailesh Haribhakti.
Haribhakti will assume charges from April 1, becoming the first professional, independent chairman in the history of the air conditioning company.
Suneel Advani who took over the company’s reins from his brother Ashok Advani in December 2016.
Suneel’s son Vir S Advani has been elevated as the Vice Chairman and Managing Director, while B Thiagarajan has been elevated as Managing Director.
The trio made up the core leadership of Blue Star under Suneel Advani, who has been redesignated as Chairman Emeritus.
Haribhakti joined the Board of Blue Star in 2005 as an independent director. He is a renowned Chartered Accountant, and among India’s leading authorities on Audit and Tax related matters.
He is also an independent board member of a number of leading Indian companies including L&T Finance Holdings Limited, Mahindra Lifespaces, Future Lifestyle and ACC Limited.
Haribhakti has also served as the Chairman of the company’s Audit Committee and has been instrumental in strengthening the company’s corporate governance practices, and plays a key role in overseeing the financial affairs of the company.
Suneel Advani, who stepped down today, began his career by joining as a Management Trainee in 1969 and moved steadily and became the President and Vice Chairman of the company in 1984.
After resigning from his executive position in 1984, he was designated the Vice Chairman of the Board and later was elevated to the post of Chairman of the Board.
He was instrumental in establishing Blue Star’s presence in computer software and development export and also formed many joint ventures with global majors like HP, Motorola and Stork-Comprimo in the hi-tech area and various other Indian entities in the air conditioning ancillaries.
He has also served on the managing councils of several industry and trade bodies, such as CII and is the founder and former president of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Manufacturers’ Association (RAMA).