Cyrus Mistry out; Ratan Tata interim chairman

  • Sudden move surprises markets

Mumbai: In a surprise move, the Tata Sons Board replaced chairman Cyrus Mistry with Ratan Tata as the interim chairman for four months on Monday. The announcement was made after Tata Sons Board meeting in Mumbai.

The board has constituted a selection committee to choose a new chairman within the next four months. The selection committee comprises Ratan Tata, Venu Srinivasan, Amit Chandra and Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya.

A statement by the Tata Group spokesman said: “The Board in its collective wisdom and on the recommendation of the principal shareholders (Tata Trusts) decided that it may be appropriate to consider a change for the long-term interest of Tata Sons and the Tata Group. Mr Ratan Tata will be interim chairman of the group for four months until the selection process gets done.”

However, no reasons were given for the change of leadership of the man who was brought in with much fanfare. But, it is believed that Tata Sons was not happy with Mistry’s policy of shedding non-profit businesses, including the conglomerate’s steel business in Europe, and concentrating only on cash cows.

Tata Sons is the main holding company of the group. Mistry was chosen as Tata’s successor in November 2011. Several industry and market experts see the decision as a setback for the group’s businesses.

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