Satish Pai named Hindalco's CEO of aluminium business

MUMBAI: Aditya Birla Group flagship Hindalco Industries has named Satish Pai as the next chief executive officer of its aluminium business in India, a senior company executive told ET. 

Pai, 51, executive vice-president at American oil field services major Schlumberger, will take up his new assignment from August 1, the executive said, adding that he will also be inducted on to the boards of Hindalco and its unit
Novelis. 

"We have chosen Satish Pai for his ability to sustain in one company for a very long time and HIS global experience," said Santrupt Misra, head of HR at Aditya Birla Group, a telecoms-to-cement conglomerate that owns Hindalco. "He has handled different functions in different parts of the world. This experience will come handy, as issues that are impacting are global. Our businesses are becoming global and we are grooming more global managers," Misra added. 

Pai's appointment is likely to fuel speculation about a succession plan at Hindalco , the country's second largest aluminium maker, as the term of its current chief executive and managing director, Debu Bhattacharya, ends in 2014. 

The $40-billion Aditya Birla Group has several top executives who can take over the mantle from Bhttachraya who became the MD of Hindalco after handling the group's chemicals and fertiliser business. 

It is, however, unclear whether the company will give another extension to Bhattacharya, the man largely instrumental for Hindalco's growth. The retirement age for directors at the Aditya Birla group is 65.