Tata Sons inducts 2 new directors; CEOs asked to focus on business

Ratan Tata this morning met chief executives of group companies to talk about ongoing initiatives.
Ratan Tata (File photo | Reuters)
Ratan Tata (File photo | Reuters)

MUMBAI: Ratan Tata today followed up the sacking of Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry by inducting two new directors into the board of the holding company, even as he asked CEOs of group firms to focus on their businesses and enhancing returns to shareholders without being distracted by change in top leadership.

A day after board's dramatic decision, the Group also moved various legal forums including Supreme Court, High Court and the National Company Law Tribunal filing caveats against Mistry moving courts seeking relief against the sacking.

Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) CEO & MD N Chandrasekaran as additional directors. JLR and TCS are the most profitable of the 100 companies in Tata stable.

Ratan Tata this morning met chief executives of group companies to talk about ongoing initiatives. "We will evaluate and continue to undertake those (steps) that are required to. If there is any change, they will be discussed with you," Tata, 78, told the top executives of the USD 100 billion conglomerate. Sources said he did not discuss the reasons that led to the sudden removal of Mistry.

Tata, who was at the helm of the group for 21 years before passing on the baton to Mistry in December 2012, said he has assumed the role of the Interim Chairman for stability and continuity so that there is no vacuum.

"This will be for a short time. A new permanent leadership will be in place," he added. He asked them to focus on their respective businesses, without being concerned about change in leadership. "The companies must focus on their market position vis- à-vis competition, and not compare themselves to their own past. The drive must be on leadership rather than to follow," Tata told the leaders. "An institution must exceed the people who lead it."

In a sudden and dramatic turn of events, the board of Tata Sons yesterday sacked Cyrus Mistry as Chairman of India's largest conglomerate Tata Group and replaced him by Tata.

Mistry, 48, who was appointed as chairman in December 2012, was only the sixth group Chairman in nearly 15 decades and the first from outside the Tata family. He will remain a director of the individual companies, though his tenure as Chairman is the shortest so far at the group.

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