Renewable energy company Azure Power has announced the stepping down of Harsh Shah from the position of chief executive officer. He will be replaced by Rupesh Agarwal, who recently joined Azure as chief strategy and commercial officer.
Upon Shah's appointment on May 06, 2022, Alan Rosling, Chairman of the Azure Power Board, lauded him as a proven leader who understands the Indian energy ecosystem. He also added that, under his leadership, Azure will continue to scale new heights in India's vibrant renewable energy sector to offer grid-scale solar, wind, and hybrid projects to utility customers, as well as commercial and industrial customers.
Before Azure, Shah was the Chief Executive Officer of IndiGrid, an Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) in the Indian energy sector. The company owns, operates, and manages power transmission networks and renewable energy assets worth US$3 billion, and Shah developed his expertise as the CEO for more than four years.
Shah's resignation comes at a time when the company said it has received a whistleblower complaint (originally filed in May 2022) alleging "potential procedural irregularities and misconduct by certain employees" at a plant belonging to one of its subsidiaries.
"As part of the company’s review of these allegations, it discovered deviations from safety and quality norms, and it has implemented mechanisms to remediate them and, in doing so, strengthen safety and quality protocols," the statement added.
The renewable energy sector has had its fair share of challenges and well-documented issues like electricity generation capacity issues, low-efficiency levels, and unreliability.
Commenting on his departure, Harsh Shah said that the Indian renewable energy sector is thriving with great potential to play a leadership role in the energy transition globally and the company [Azure] is certainly placed very well to seize the big growth opportunity that India presents.
“I was looking forward to working with the team to deliver Azure's potential. However, owing to unforeseen circumstances and matters beyond my control, I have decided to step down from my role as Chief Executive Officer," he added.
Alan Rosling, Chairman of the Board of Azure Power, added, "The Board has accepted Harsh's resignation with deep regret. He joined us on July 1st July 2022, and we hoped that Harsh would be the leader to take the company forward. However, we respect this unexpected decision and wish him and his family all the best for the future."
Shah's resignation led to a massive drop in Azure Power's stocks, with Nasdaq reporting that there was a 41.78 per cent drop in share value. It means the value dropped from $10.46 per share to $6.09 per share, on a volume of 1,381,060.
The company's board said that they would consider the appointment of a new permanent CEO in due course, but till that time, Agarwal will act as the interim CEO.