The year 2022 has seen many hits and misses in business. From changing work culture and priorities of the workforce to increasing use of new-age technologies at the workplace, Great Resignation, large-scale layoffs, and appointment of Indian-origin business leaders were prominent happenings in the community this year.
Leena Nair, Devika Bulchandani, and Laxman Narasimhan shared the stage with Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella, Shantanu Narayen of Adobe, Punit Renjen of Deloitte and Raj Subramaniam of FedEx by stepping up to take top positions in global companies.
Other leaders made the headlines for less happy reasons. We saw the ouster of Parag Agarwal as Twitter CEO after Elon Musk got hold of the US-headquartered social media company and the tragic passing of Cyrus Mistry in a road accident.
We present the top Indian-origin business leaders who were newsmakers in 2022:
Leena Nair made the headlines after she joined the French ultra-luxury lifestyle brand Chanel as Global CEO in January 2022. An alumnus of XLRI Jamshedpur and Walchand College of Engineering, Sangli in Maharashtra, she became the first woman to become CEO of the iconic and admired company Chanel. Before Chanel, she had a long career at Unilever. She described Unilever as a place that had been her home for 30 years.
Amritsar-born Devika Bulchandani is another addition to Indian talent rocking the stage at the global level. She was appointed as the Global Chief Executive Officer of the advertising, marketing, and public relations agency Ogilvy in September 2022. In her new role, she is responsible for all aspects of the creative network’s business across 131 offices in 93 countries and spanning its advertising, public relations, experience, consulting, and health units. Before being appointed as global CEO, Bulchandani served as Global President and CEO of Ogilvy North America. She took the helm from Andy Main who stepped down as Global CEO.
Pune-born Laxman Narasimhan is the latest Indian-descent CEO to head a US-based corporate giant, after Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella, Shantanu Narayen of Adobe, Punit Renjen of Deloitte, and Raj Subramaniam of FedEx to name a few. Narasimhan was appointed as CEO of the coffee giant Starbucks on October 1, 2022. He started his career at the consulting firm McKinsey in Delhi.
After getting appointed as successor to Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey in November 2021, Parag Agarwal again hit the headlines after the Elon Musk-Twitter saga started in 2022. He departed from the company on less than friendly terms, having been reportedly escorted out of the building along with other top executives on the same day that Tesla boss Musk completed the $44 million deal to take over Twitter.
Former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry died in a horrific car crash on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway in Palghar district on September 4. Mistry became the sixth chairman of Tata Sons in 2012. He had taken over as chairman in December after Ratan Tata’s retirement.
Born in London and raised in Delhi, Jayshree Ullal was among those who proved their mettle. The president and CEO of Arista Networks, a computer networking firm, she got listed on the Forbes list of America's richest self-made women. With a net worth of $1.9 billion, Ullal owns 5% of Arista's stock.
2022 brought us chaos, but also the opportunity to review, renew, and advance. Read the end-2022 issue of People Matters Digital Magazine for a look back, and some key takeaways to bring forward.