A leadership change for one of the richest corporate families in the world was announced on Tuesday when Akash Ambani, Mukesh Ambani’s son, was named chairman of the board of Reliance Jio. A day after his father’s resignation, Akash Ambani, 30, a non-executive director of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., was named chairman, the company announced in an exchange filing. Mukesh Ambani will continue to serve as the chairman of Jio Platforms Ltd., the parent company of all Reliance Jio digital services businesses.
Tuesday’s announcement marked the first instance in which Mukesh Ambani formally took a backseat; last year he indicated his children would take on more responsibilities. Together with managing other significant acquisitions, Akash Ambani was a member of the teams that negotiated investment into the parent company of Jio by Meta Platforms Inc., formerly known as Facebook Inc.
“This is another clear signal Mukesh Ambani is taking the next step of redefining his involvement with the group,” Kavil Ramachandran, professor and executive director at the Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise, at the Hyderabad-based Indian School of Business, told Reuters.
“I hope he has taken care to make this successful by strengthening the team around Akash.”
The promotion of Akash Ambani coincides with the Reliance group’s shift toward consumer offerings after years of being funded by income from fossil fuels.
Mukesh Ambani has spent years researching how wealthy families, such as the Waltons, and Kochs handed their wealth down to the next generations.
That process has recently been more intense; according to Bloomberg last year, Mukesh Ambani was looking at a plan to make sure his empire, which is worth over $200 billion, is not torn apart in a succession conflict.