In a surprise move, Cyrus Mistry, 48, was sacked as chairman of Tata Sons. He was replaced by Ratan Tata, 78, who will be the interim chairman for four months. The Irish-Indian businessman, who talked about Tatas’ 2025 vision document and took over from Ratan Tata only in 2011, had to leave within just four years of taking the reins.
The announcement came after the board of Tata Sons met in Mumbai and decided to replace Mistry. The Board constituted a selection committee comprising Tata, TVS Group head Venu Srinivasan, Amit Chandra of Bain Capital, former diplomat Ronen Sen, and Lord Kumar Bhattacharya.
After Cyrus Mistry’s exit Ratan Tata has also written to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi informing him about the change in the top management.
Mistry who was chosen by a five-member panel in 2011 to succeed Ratan Tata, took over the reins when the veteran industrialist retired in 2012, when he turned 75. Mistry was only the sixth chairman in almost a 15-decade old company and the second who did not have the name of Tata, after Nowroji Saklatwala.
Reports say Mistry had recently stated that the group ‘should not be afraid of taking tough decisions for the right reasons, and challenging situations’ confronted by some of the group’s businesses that would require hard, bolder decisions and was considered as the deviation in the ethos of the Tata Group. The legal battle against the telcom partner – DoCoMo, and shutting down/ selling the group’s steel business in Europe, were the two other major factors, that probably miffed the Tata patriarch.