Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd, the owner of the Cafe Coffee Day chain, appointed founder and former chairman V.G. Siddhartha’s wife as its chief executive officer on Monday, more than a year after the coffee baron was found dead in a river in Southern India in an apparent suicide.
In July last year, Coffee Day Enterprises named independent board member S.V. Ranganath as interim chairman, after authorities recovered Siddhartha’s body floating in a river near the port city of Mangaluru, two days after his disappearance sparked speculation that he was under intense financial strain.
Malavika Hegde was appointed as the CEO with immediate effect, the company said in a filing to exchanges.
Bengaluru-based Cafe Coffee Day runs hundreds of coffee shops across India that brew cappuccinos and lattes for India’s booming moneyed class and compete with the likes of Starbucks Corp, Barista and Coca-Cola Co-owned Costa Coffee.
Siddhartha, 59, was widely recognised for having brought the coffee shop culture to a largely tea-loving country, while also being hailed as one of India’s early venture capital investors.
His death plunged the company into an uncertain future, and saw Coffee Day Enterprises shares crash as news of his death unfolded, before eventually being suspended from trading since Feb 3.