Cipla names Umang Vohra global CEO, Samina Vaziralli vice chairman

Drugmaker Cipla Ltd on Friday named Umang Vohra its new managing director and global CEO and elevated promoter group scion Samina Vaziralli as executive vice chairman.

Both appointments are effective 1 September 2016, the company said in a stock-exchange filing.

Vohra is currently chief operating officer and will take over from Subhanu Saxena, who is leaving “to attend to emergent family priorities”, Cipla said.  

Saxena will be available to Cipla over the next few months to help with the transition, non-executive chairman YK Hamied said.

Cipla had hired Vohra from Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) in September 2015 as chief financial and strategy officer. Vohra had been responsible for growing DRL’s North American generics business by 60% during his tenure, taking it over $1 billion in sales, Cipla said at the time.

Vohra was promoted in January 2016 to the position of global chief operating officer after the departure of Sudhanshu Priyadarshi.  He was simultaneously the company’s CFO till June when Cipla hired Kedar Upadhye, another DRL hand, for the role.

Vaziralli, the daughter of MK Hamied and the niece of YK Hamied, is currently executive director and global head of strategy, mergers and acquisitions and Cipla New Ventures. MK Hamied will continue as non-executive vice chairman, the company said.

“Samina’s elevation also reinforces the long-term commitment of the promoter family to Cipla,” YK Hamied said.

Cipla said that Vaziralli will move on from her current responsibilities to focus on board and governance issues and grow “Cipla’s strategic priorities through key global partnerships, corporate brand building and public advocacy”.

Vaziralli, a graduate of the London School of Economics, joined Cipla in 2011 after a stint with Goldman Sachs’ investment management division. She was inducted to the company’s board in June 2015, weeks after her brother Kamil Hamied quit Cipla.

Vaziralli has previously been responsible for Cipla’s in-house venture fund to incubate firms in biotechnology, medical devices and chemical entities while targeting startup hubs such as Boston and London.

Both Vohra and Vaziralli are part of the company’s executive council created in January. Others in the council are Geena Malhotra, global head of integrated product development; Ranjana Pathak, global head of quality; and Prabir Jha, global chief people officer.

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