News: Weekly roundup (May 19-25): News you cannot miss


Weekly roundup (May 19-25): News you cannot miss

Air India's plan to trim its 27,000 bloated workforce by offering a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) is stuck in the North Block, with the Finance Ministry questioning the rationale behind the proposed scheme, PTI reported. The VRS scheme is “stuck in the Finance Ministry over the payment of Rs. 1,200 crore for it,” Air India sources said.

Air India's plan to trim its 27,000 bloated workforce by offering a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) is stuck in the North Block, with the Finance Ministry questioning the rationale behind the proposed scheme, PTI reported. The VRS scheme is “stuck in the Finance Ministry over the payment of Rs. 1,200 crore for it,” Air India sources said.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has moved to hold senior banking officials directly accountable for violations of supervision lapses under their nose that lead to money laundering and other wrongdoings, Hindustan Times reported. In a move reminiscent of the corporate laws put in place after the Enron scandal in the US, the RBI is likely to review the “fit and proper” criteria and banks will now be mandated to formally declare that its senior officers have done the due diligence required in dealing with shady customers.

State-owned Dutch bank ABN AMRO is to cut 400 jobs, about 2 per cent of its workforce, as it prepares for an eventual sale, Reuters reported. The bank, which on May 17 posted first-quarter results hit by bad loans in its home market, said the cuts are part of a reorganisation of its commercial and merchant banking division and will mostly be through natural attrition and reallocation.

NRI steel baron Lakshmi Mittal on Sunday said he was able to prove his Principal wrong when he topped Saint Xavier's College in Kolkata even though he was earlier denied admission for not being fluent in English. Mittal, 62, the UK-based NRI billionaire who was conferred the Global Xavierian Award on Sunday in an alumni meet here, is the Charmian and Chief Executive Officer of Luxembourg headquartered world's largest steelmaker and mining company ArcelorMittal. Recollecting memories of his days as a student, Mittal said he was initially denied admission in the college as he could not speak English.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) said in its latest global competitiveness report released in September that India had slipped to number 59 in its ranking of 144 countries, or down 10 places in three years, Mint reported. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) noted in its April report on the global economy that the growth in total factor productivity has been coming down since the end of the boom.

One of the leading and most recognised names in the IT industry, Phaneesh Murthy was sacked from iGate on the grounds of sexual harassment. A Reuters news report said that Murthy failed to report his relationship with a subordinate, that led to a violation of the policy. Murthy was replaced by interim CEO Gerhard Watzinger.

The hiring outlook for companies in India are showing signs of positivity, with employers across industries and functions likely to hire more in the coming months. This was revealed in a report published by Teamlease Staffing Solutions today. The report also reveals greater correlation between skills and salaries, with hiring registering 11% growth, and salaries will likely increase by approximately 12% across industries and functions.

The trend among leading tech services companies, such as GE, Cisco, Dell, and HCL Tech is to create internal women’s groups for extending personal and professional help to women employees. These internal service groups, led by women, are not only helping women employees but also allowing the company to understand the needs and requirements of the women talent market better.

Royal Dutch/Shell CEO Peter Voser will step down as CEO of the oil major. The company will now be looking to hire a successor for Voser who announced his intent to step down recently before his 56th birthday. Shell’s succession planning is heavily reliant on growing talent internally rather than hiring from the external market.

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi has introduced a professional quarterly evaluation system for all state units akin to the corporate sector, the latest in a series of steps aimed at bringing management tools into a party better known for its intrigue and durbar attributes, an Economic Times report said.

State-run Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI) has a fight on its hands, quite literally so. Late last week, an argument between the chief credit officer of the company and one of its vice-presidents degenerated into a fistfight, an Economic Times report said. A board official confirmed to ET that IFCI's CEO & MD Atul Rai has set up an internal committee to probe the genesis of the confrontation.

Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) promoter Vijay Mallya's assurances of restarting the grounded airline now seem to be running thin even with his old associates. KFA executive vice-president Hitesh Patel, who joined Mallya nine years ago and was instrumental in the airline's launch in 2005, has put in his papers, according to a report in Economic Times.

Apple's CEO is disputing assertions by a Senate panel that the company avoids billions of dollars in US taxes by shifting profits to foreign affiliates, AP reported. Tim Cook testified at a hearing on Tuesday by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which released a report on Monday attacking Apple's tax practices. "We pay all the taxes we owe — every single dollar," Cook said. "We don't depend on tax gimmicks."

Far-reaching legislation to grant a chance at citizenship to millions of immigrants living illegally in the United States cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on a solid bipartisan vote Tuesday night after supporters somberly sidestepped a controversy over the rights of gay spouses, AP reported. In addition to creating a pathway to citizenship for 11.5 million immigrants, the legislation creates a new program for low-skilled foreign labor and would permit highly skilled workers into the country at far higher levels than is currently the case.

Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase & Co's outspoken chairman and chief executive, won a vote of confidence on Tuesday as shareholders recommended that he keep his chairman title, giving him a greater margin of approval than last year, Reuters reported. Investors who had pressed for Mr Dimon to be stripped of his chairman title said they believed they lost because of the chief executive's hints he would quit if he did not win the vote.

Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd, the Japanese parent of Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd, said on Wednesday that it may initiate legal action against certain former shareholders of the Indian generic drug maker for concealing and misrepresenting critical information related to investigations by US agencies, a Mint report said.

ESPN, the sports channel that is Walt Disney Co's most profitable unit, is cutting 300 to 400 jobs across the company and closing a small Denver office, a person with knowledge of the cuts said. The job cuts, comprising 4 to 6 percent of ESPN's staff of 7,000, include open positions that will not be filled, said the source, who asked not to be named because the information is not public.

ICICI Bank Ltd, the country’s largest private lender, has re-appointed its entire top management team for five more years till 2019, Mint reported. In its annual report for fiscal 2012-13, released on its website on Wednesday, ICICI Bank said its board had approved the re-appointment of non-executive chairman K.V. Kamath, managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) Chanda Kochhar and executive directors N.S. Kannan and K. Ramkumar for five years each.

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Wednesday convicted former chairman and managing director of Indian Bank M. Gopalakrishnan and two others in an 18-year-old cheating case, causing Rs.3 crore ‘wrongful loss’ to the bank and sentenced him and another person to one year rigorous imprisonment, PTI said.

Mettl, a leading skill-based assessment company, is the Winner of 2013 TiE50 “Top Startup” Award at TiEcon 2013, the world’s largest conference for entrepreneurs. Mettl was amongst 50 winners at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Silicon Valley, USA, a company press release said. TiEcon is the world's largest conference for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs with loyal participation from top technology companies, leading venture capital firms, and global service providers.<</</p>

You have to be lucky to be Phaneesh Murthy. Everyone makes mistakes the first time. But then, no one really lands up as a CEO and face of a company so quickly, within 18 months of being booted out by a blue-chip company, as Murthy did back in 2002, an Economic Times report said. So, here's a question no one's asking: did iGate make an error of judgement in hiring Murthy? Probably it suited a fledgling iGate back then to hire a talent like Murthy. No problems if Infosys sacked him.

German software company SAP is looking to recruit people with autism as programmers and product testers, drawing on skills that can include a close attention to detail and an ability to solve complex problems. SAP has asked start-up Danish recruitment company Specialisterne to help it find, train and manage employees diagnosed with the disability.

Malaysian budget airline AirAsia has conveyed to the civil aviation ministry that the CFO and COO for its Indian arm are both going to be Indians and it has submitted the names of its six directors for obtaining security clearance from the home ministry, an Economic Times report said. A security clearance for the board of directors is a prerequisite for AirAsia India to receive a no-objection certificate (NoC) from the aviation ministry to launch operations.

<'Melinda Gates, Indra Nooyi among 10 most powerful women globally'</</p>

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and India-born PepsiCo chief Indra Nooyi figure among the top 10 in the global list of most powerful women compiled by Forbes magazine for 2013, PTI reported. Gandhi is ranked ninth while Nooyi is at the 10th place in the global list of world's 100 most powerful women. German Chancellor Angela Merkel tops the list for the third consecutive year, followed by Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, Melinda Gates of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, US First lady Michelle Obama and philanthropist Hillary Clinton.

The National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD), Noida, under the auspices of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and Intuit, a leading provider of business and financial solutions for small and medium businesses, announced that they have joined together to roll out a four-hour Module on Financial Literacy/Management for small businesses in the country, according to a company press release.

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Topics: C-Suite, #Updates

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