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Ravi Uppal is stepping down from the board of India’s largest engineering company Larsen & Toubro (L&T) in a high profile move even as the former India chief of global electrical and automation major ABB was widely tipped to take over as the chief executive of L&T.

Uppal, a whole-time director and president (power) at L&T, has resigned with effect from September 15, 2012, according to a company statement.

AM Naik, the long-serving boss of L&T, had relinquished the role of chief executive some time ago to become an executive chairman while another L&T long-timer K Venkataramanan has been designated as the CEO till 2015.

Bloomberg reported on Aug 25 that Uppal was leaving L&T and might join Cairn India Ltd, citing sources. The CEO’s position is vacant at Vedanta Group-controlled Cairn India after its chief executive Rahul Dhir put down his papers and is due to move on from September 1.

Before taking his position at L&T, Uppal spent over two decades with the ABB Group as president of global markets and member of the ABB Group executive committee, Switzerland. The IIT Delhi-IIM Ahmedabad grad started his career with Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd.

Uppal’s exit comes amid succession issues at L&T, which has been criticised over the years for its lack of bringing and holding onto younger management talent at the top level. The company’s long-serving boss AM Naik, a septuagenarian, had stepped down from CEO’s position earlier this year but remains an effective chief as the executive chairman.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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