CHENNAI: Former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry was calm when he was informed of Tata Trusts’ decision to move a board resolution removing him from the post, Nirmalya Kumar, who was part of the core Group Executive Council formed by Mistry, said in a blog titled ‘How Cyrus Mistry was Fired as Tata
Chairman’ published over the weekend.
Giving a blow-by-blow account of what happened on October 24, 2016 — the day the crucial Tata Sons board meeting was held — Kumar said that minutes before the October 24, 2016 board meeting of Tata Sons, Ratan Tata and another board member Nitin Nohria called on Mistry to apprise him of the decision.
According to Kumar, who was also removed from the company on the same day as Mistry, the latter was offered the option of resigning or facing the resolution for his removal at the board meeting. “Ratan Tata chimes in at this stage to say he is sorry that things have reached this stage,” Kumar noted. To this, Mistry reportedly said: “Gentlemen, you are free to take it up at the board meeting and I’ll do what I have to do.”
Thereupon, Mistry sent a text message to his wife Rohiqa: “I am being sacked,” before putting on his jacket and heading for the board meeting, Kumar wrote in his blog post.
Kumar is currently a professor of marketing at Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University and Distinguished Fellow at INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute.
He says that during the meeting, Mistry argued that the articles of association required a 15-day notice before a resolution.
While six of the eight-member board that included Vijay Singh, Amit Chandra and Nitin Nohria — all trust nominees; Ajay Piramal, Ronen Sen and Venu Srinivasan — all independent directors, voted in favour of the resolution that sought removal of Mistry, Farida Khambhata, an independent director, and Ishaat Hussain, finance director, Tata Sons abstained from voting. “It was all over in minutes, no explanations and no opportunity for Cyrus Mistry to prepare a rebuttal,” Kumar wrote in his blog post.