ITC chairman Y.C. Deveshwar died on Saturday in a Gurugram hospital. He was 72, and was ITC’s longest serving corporate head.
The cause of his death is not known. He was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago.
He is survived by his wife Bharti and two children, Gaurav and Garima.
He had joined ITC in 1968 and became the executive chairman of the company in 1996. As ITC’s longest serving chief, Deveshwar had led the company’s diversification to an FMCG major.
Under his leadership, ITC was also successful in warding a takeover threat from its largest shareholder, BAT.
He stepped down from the executive role in 2017 but continued to hold a non-executive role.
In 2011, Deveshwar was conferred with the Padma Bhushan, award.
Sanjiv Puri, ITC MD, extending his condolences said: “We deeply mourn the passing away of Y.C. Deveshwar, Chairman ITC. In this hour of profound grief and sorrow, we recall with respect and pride the legendary stewardship he provided to ITC over two decades as its Chairman.
“In this hour of immense sadness, our hearts go out to his family, wife Bharti Deveshwar, children Gaurav and Garima and to their families to whom we offer our sincerest condolences.”
Deveshwar, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and Harvard Business School, was invited by the Indian government, early in his career between 1991 and 1994, to serve as the Chairman and Managing Director of Air India, a period that is remembered for a turnaround in the national carrier with consistent profitability.
He served as a Director on the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India and as a Member of the National Foundation for Corporate Governance. He was also on the Board of Air India.