Bali joined Britannia in 2005

Bali joined Britannia in 2005

Indian food group Britannia Industries has refused to be drawn on a report MD Vinita Bali is set to leave the company in March.

A report in Indian newspaper The Economic Times claimed Bali would step down two years before the end of her contract to be succeeded by COO Varun Berry, who joined Britannia last year.

Citing an unnamed source, the report said Britannia chairman Nusli Wadia felt Bali, who joined the company as the chief executive in 2005, had carried out "a good recovery job" at the business "but has had a long stint and a new person should take over to compete in a new environment".

A spokesperson for the company declined comment when approached by just-food.

However, The Economic Times said it was expected the new organisational changes will be announced at the end of January.

At 58, Bali became the first woman to head a major consumer goods company in India.

In May, Bali's role as MD was altered. She was asked to focus on Britannia's international operations and on business development. Berry, the former boss of PepsiCo's business in India, was asked to lead Britannia's domestic operations.

At the time, Wadia said: "With these changes we are preparing Britannia for high growth in Britannia's India operations by catering to the changing food habits of the evolving Indian consumer and pursuing opportunities for growth in the overall food domain, here and abroad."