June 21, 2016 / 6:35 PM / in 2 years

India cigarette maker ITC's CEO Deveshwar to step down next year

June 21 (Reuters) - ITC Ltd, India’s largest cigarette maker, said Yogesh Deveshwar would step down as chief executive next year and serve as non-executive chairman for three years thereafter.

ITC’s board had “strongly urged” Deveshwar to continue as CEO, but he wanted the company to have a younger leader, according to a regulatory filing on Tuesday. The company did not name a successor to Deveshwar.

Deveshwar, 69, joined ITC in 1968, according to the company’s website. He has been the CEO and chairman of the company for more than two decades.

Between 1991 and 1994, Deveshwar led state-owned carrier Air India as chairman and managing director. He’s also a director on the central board of the Reserve Bank of India.

ITC, which is nearly 25 percent owned by British American Tobacco Plc, sells four of every five cigarettes in India. The Indian company has been hit by higher taxes on tobacco products and a government push to discourage tobacco consumption. (Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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