KARACHI: The departure of Asif Saad from the boards of Engro Corporation and its subsidiaries was announced on Thursday as a matter of routine.
His profile was removed from the Dawood Hercules website - the holding company of Engro Corporation and Hub Power that said he had joined a few months back.
Separate notices issued to the stock exchange said the slot of directorship left vacant would be filled later.
His exit comes when industry grapevine suggested that he was brought into the fold of one of Pakistan’s largest conglomerates for an important assignment.
Saad took early retirement as CEO of Lotte Chemical Pakistan in May 2014 after remaining in office for eight years. He started his career at ICI in 1988 and remained associated with its chemical business. ICI’s purified terephthalic acid (PTA) division in Pakistan was later acquired by Lotte.
Read: 'The right time to leave': Engro Foods' founding CEO steps down
Some industry people said he would have replaced Engro Foods’ CEO Sarfaraz Rehman who resigned a few weeks ago. Others even touted him as a potential candidate for the coveted CEO’s seat at Engro Corporation that is now occupied by Khalid Siraj Subhani.
“This hasn’t come as a shock to us,” said an official who has worked with him. “A man of his experience was definitely underutilised in the group. He used to give a lot of interesting suggestions during board meetings especially when it came to Engro Foods. But his involvement was limited.”
The management at Dawood’s subsidiary companies has seen multiple exits of senior officials in recent years. Since the revered CEO of the group Asad Umar resigned in 2012, others senior executives have followed.
Even though Saad was not part of the Engro hierarchy, people close to him say that he is not the sort of professional who likes to jump ships very often.
Read: Impending departure: Engro Corp CEO steps down
In his personal interactions with friends since his resignation, he hasn’t indicated any major differences with Hussain Dawood, his son Samad Dawood or other directors.
But the fact remains that there were matters on growth trajectory of the group on which he did not agree.
Despite repeated attempts, Saad was not available for comments.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2015.
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