By 24 May, 2009

Update: It's official. Ranbaxy Laboratories MD and CEO Malvinder Mohan Singh resigned on Sunday. Atul Sobti has been appointed as the CEO and MD of Ranbaxy Lab and Daiichi Sankyo representative Tsutomu Une will be the new Chairman.

Atul Sobti has been appointed for three years. Une was a director on the board of the company till now.

The reasons of the exit are not known yet. However, speculations are that Malvinder Singh had been held responsible for the US FDA actionon Ranbaxy and also for the tampering of the data.

Alongwith Malvinder Singh, two more board members - Balwinder Singh and Sunil Godhwani - have quit the board of Ranbaxy. Now there are seven members on the board of the company. Godhwani is the CEO of Religare Enterprises.

Japanese drug company Daiichi-Sankyo acquired majority stake in Ranbaxy last year.

Earlier post from Reuters: The chief executive of India's Ranbaxy Laboratories Malvinder Singh may resign and be replaced by a nominee from its parent company, Japan's Daiichi Sankyo, the Economic Times reported on Sunday.

Ranbaxy's board is meeting on Sunday and its annual shareholder meet is scheduled for Friday, the paper said citing two people familiar with the development.

Malvinder Singh, the founder of Ranbaxy, was asked to continue as chief executive by the Daiichi even after the Japanese firm bought the founders' stake last year.

Singh's tenure is scheduled to end in 2013 and he is entitled to a severance package of 450 million rupees ($9.6 million) if he leaves the company before, the paper said.

A Ranbaxy spokesman when contacted declined comment and said he was unaware of any board meet.

Daiichi, Japan's third-largest drug maker, earlier this month forecast an annual profit far below expectations, hit by losses linked to Ranbaxy.

Ranbaxy has been hurt by a U.S. import ban on its products and the weaker rupee. Daiichi has said it plans to resolve the problems at Ranbaxy by getting actively involved in the Indian firm's management.

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