Reliance Industries Limited on Wednesday announced that the Indian conglomerate supports the appointment of Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Chairman of Saudi Aramco and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) Governor, as an independent director, stating that he met all regulatory criteria for the same. The decision of his appointment to the Board is pending approval by the shareholders, subject to a voting process set to conclude on October 19, 2021.
In a regulatory filing to stock exchanges on September 29, Reliance Industries commented on the Conglomerate’s favourable stance in relation to Al-Rumayyan’s appointment to the Board. The statement hailed Yasir Al-Rumayyan’s expertise in the business sector and expressed Reliance Industries’ goals for the future as he becomes part of the Board of Directors.
“H.E. Yasir Al Rumayyan is an accomplished global business leader. H.E. is the Non-Executive Chairman of Saudi Aramco (SA). H. E.’s experience encompasses over 25 years working in some of Saudi Arabia’s prominent financial institutions, including as the Governor of the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. His experience encompasses international business and governance experience, expertise in finance, the global energy industry and insights on emerging technology-led business models.
“This will help strengthen the Board’s diversity and skill-sets and benefit Reliance through the transition from oil to chemicals and the aim to achieve Net Carbon Zero by 2035,” said Reliance in the statement.
The statement further said that the appointment has taken effect from July 19, 2021, for a term of 3 years, and it was announced for the first time at the company’s 44th annual general meeting held on June 24, 2021.
However, The California State Teachers’ Retirement Fund, a shareholder of Reliance Industries, had decided to vote against the move based on the recommendations of an American proxy advisory services company, Glass, Lewis & Co., which held doubts concerning the qualifying criteria for Al-Rumayyan’s selection. The firm had stated that since Al-Rumayyan had a key role in the operations of Aramco and PIF, he did not qualify to be an independent director as it violated Indian law.
The Conglomerate has thereafter clarified that Al-Rumayyan “satisfies every one of this (Indian Companies Act, 2013) criteria laid down in the law and regulations” in the statement released on Wednesday and added that the HRNR Committee of the Board of Directors consists of 4 Independent Directors out of the total strength of 5.