Year after founder's suicide, wife Malavika Hegde appointed CEO of Coffee Day group

Malavika Hegde, the wife of deceased Cafe Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha, was on Monday appointed the CEO of Coffee Day Enterprises. Last year, VG Siddhartha had mysteriously disappeared in Mangaluru and later found dead by suicide.

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Coffee Day Enterprises CEO Malavika Hegde is the daughter of former Karnataka chief minister SM Krishna. (Photo: Coffee Day website/Reuters)

More than a year after Cafe Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha died of suicide, his wife Malavika Hegde was appointed as the CEO of the coffee chain on Monday.

Last year in July, Cafe Coffee Day came in the news after VG Siddhartha mysteriously disappeared after stepping out of his car for a walk at a bridge near Mangaluru in Karnataka.

Two days later, authorities recovered his body from a nearby river. His death was declared a suicide.

VG Siddhartha had reportedly taken the step after coming under immense financial strain, reportedly to the tune of Rs 11,000 crore. In an unverified letter, Siddhartha had also alleged harassment from Income Tax officials.

After his death, Coffee Day Enterprises named independent board member SV Ranganath as interim chairman of the group.

On Monday, VG Siddhartha's wife Malavika Hegde was appointed as the CEO with immediate effect. Malavika Hegde is the daughter of former Karnataka chief minister SM Krishna.

Bengaluru-based Cafe Coffee Day runs hundreds of coffee shops across India that brew cappuccinos and lattes for India’s booming moneyed class and compete with the likes of Starbucks Corp, Barista and Coca-Cola Co-owned Costa Coffee.

Siddhartha, 59, was widely recognised for having brought the coffee shop culture to a largely tea-loving country, while also being hailed as one of India’s early venture capital investors.

His death plunged the company into an uncertain future and saw Coffee Day Enterprises shares crash as news of his death unfolded, before eventually being suspended from trading since February 3.