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India’s Mukesh Ambani Hands Reliance Telco Unit To Son In First Step To Leadership Change

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Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani has stepped down from the telecoms arm of Reliance Industries (RELI.NS), handing the reins to his son Akash and setting the stage for a leadership transition at his energy-to-retail conglomerate.

Mukesh’s 30-year-old son Akash has been appointed chairman of the board of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, the company said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday. Akash was already a non-executive director at the telecoms arm.

The move comes after Ambani, who ranks among the world’s top 10 billionaires, first signaled last year that his children would have significant roles in the family’s business empire.

Reliance is “in the process of effecting a momentous leadership transition,” he said at an event in December.

Akash’s twin sister Isha is a director on the boards of Jio as well as Reliance Retail, which houses the conglomerate’s ambitious bets in India’s brick-and-mortar space.

The youngest of the siblings, Anant, sits on the board of renewable energy and oil and chemical units of Reliance as a director.

India’s telecoms sector had been upended by the entry of Jio in 2016, which triggered a price war that forced some rivals out of the market and turned profits into losses.

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