In yet another twist to the Mistry-Tata tale, Cyrus Mistry in a “protest” email has written to the Tata Board members expressing shock over his unprecedented removal. NDTV reports that Mistry in his mail wrote that the board has not covered itself with glory and neither did they give him a chance to defend himself.
Mistry, 48, was appointed as the chairman of Tata Sons in December 2012 and in a dramatic turn of events was removed from the post on Monday by the Board. Ratan Tata has now been appointed as the interim chairman of the group. In a separate development, the Tata Sons board was expanded to 11 members, accommodating Tata Consultancy Services managing director and CEO N Chandrasekaran and Ralf Speth, CEO, Jaguar Land Rover. The Board has constituted a Selection Committee to choose a new Chairman. The Committee comprises Ratan N. Tata, Venu Srinivasan, Amit Chandra, Ronen Sen and Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, as per the criteria in the Articles of Association of Tata Sons. The committee has been mandated to complete the selection process in four months.
Mystery surrounds the abrupt decision by Tata Sons Board, but the analysts consensus is that Mistry’s sacking relates to performance-based issues. Meanwhile, Ratan Tata met Tata Group CEOs on Tuesday and assured that the group would continue to focus on its core values and strengths and asked them to focus on their respective businesses, without being concerned about change in leadership.
Moreover, in a bid to prevent Mistry from getting any ex-parte relief from any legal forum, Tata Sons and a Tata Trust, among others, filed the caveats that they should be heard before grant of any relief to the ousted Chairman. “They (Tatas) have pleaded to be heard before the court passes any interim order like stay on Mistry’s sacking,” a source said. Earlier there was confusion over reports that Mistry had filed caveats, which was denied by his office.
“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 group. According to sources, he did not discuss the reasons that led to the sudden removal of Mistry.
Talking about Mistry’s removal, asenior Tata Group official said, “It came as a surprise to us; nobody seemed to know anything about it.”
Meanwhile, stocks of major Tata Group companies fell in the range of 1% to 5% on Tuesday after Cyrus Mistry was removed as chairman of India’s largest conglomerate. As a result, 26 of the group’s listed companies lost Rs 10,877 crore in combined market capitalisation.