Byju’s CFO Ajay Goel rejoins Vedanta

Veteran finance professional Ajay Goel returned to Vedanta Ltd as the new chief financial officer just as the mining conglomerate controlled by billionaire Anil Agarwal heads into an ambitious business restructuring.

Goel left Vedanta for Byju's earlier this year (File)
Goel left Vedanta for Byju’s earlier this year (File)

He replaced Sonal Shrivastava who resigned from the post months after joining.

In a stock exchange filing, Vedanta said Goel has been appointed CFO of the company with effect from October 30, 2023.

“As part of Vedanta’s structured re-hiring programme called ‘Gharwapsi’, Mr. Ajay Goel joins back the company,” it said.

Goel had quit from Vedanta earlier this year to join education startup BYJU’s.

In the same announcement, Vedanta said Shrivastava resigned as the CFO with effect from the close of business hours on October 24 “due to personal reasons.

“Goel is a national rank holder both as a Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary and comes with rich experience in global multinational companies such as General Electric, Nestle, Coca Cola and Diageo – USL in various leadership roles,” it said.

He was earlier associated with Vedanta as acting CFO of the company from October 23, 2021, to April 9, 2023.

“During his earlier role at Vedanta, Ajay contributed significantly in terms of driving business performance, managing the financial affairs of the company and heading the finance function with his leadership acumen. He was also instrumental in successfully handling regulatory approvals, investments matters, capital allocation, investor relations and major M&A-related affairs,” Vedanta said.

Byju’s said it has made new appointments in its finance function, with Pradip Kanakia as senior adviser and Nitin Golani, currently the President-Finance, who will take charge as India CFO.

Last month, Vedanta announced a plan to split itself into six listed companies to improve valuations and attract investors. As per the plans, underlying companies, mainly its metals, power, aluminium, and oil and gas businesses will be demerged and listed separately to unlock potential value.

“By demerging our business units, we believe that will unlock value and potential for faster growth in each vertical. While they all come under the larger umbrella of natural resources, each has its own market, demand and supply trends, and potential to deploy technology to raise productivity,” Agarwal, Chairman of Vedanta, had said at that time.

The six planned companies will be – Vedanta Aluminium, Vedanta Oil & Gas, Vedanta Power, Vedanta Steel and Ferrous Materials, Vedanta Base Metals and Vedanta Limited.

Goel quit as Byju’s chief financial officer (CFO) barely six months after joining the ed tech. His departure comes at a crucial time for Byju’s, as it is yet to file its results for 2021-22 financial year (April 2021 to March 2022), apart from its issues with lenders over a billion-dollar loan, even as it tries to raise fresh capital to keep operations going.

He will transition after completing the formalities of the FY22 audit.

Byju’s previous CFO PV Rao quit in December 2021 and Goel’s appointment came 16 months later, in April this year.

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