Pepsico’s Indra Nooyi and Tata International MD Noel Tata have emerged as contenders for the post of Tata Group Chairman, reported CNBC-TV 18. In a shocking move, Tata Sons Board on Monday announced replacing Cyrus Mistry as the Tata Group chairman. Ratan Tata will act as the interim chairman till a successor is found over the next four months. Tata Sons has appointed a 5-member selection committee comprising Ratan N. Tata, Venu Srinivasan, Amit Chandra, Ronen Sen and Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya to decide on the new chairman of the Tata group. According to the channel the selection committee will meet for the first time today and five people have been shortlisted for the post.
The Shapoorji Pallonji Group, which has a stake of 18.5% in Tata Sons, is believed to have challenged Mistry’s removal, terming it “illegal’ even as the Ratan Tata Trust is understood to have already armed itself with legal opinion from former solicitor general Mohan Parasaran. The unceremonious dismissal of Mistry — attributed to his performance — had the backing of the Tata Trusts, which hold a commanding 66% stake in Tata Sons. He, however, remains a director on the board. Cyrus Mistry had in December 2012 become the sixth chairman of the Tata Group, replacing Ratan Tata. Mistry had been the director of the company since 2006. Mistry was earlier managing director of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group.
Tata Sons has reportedly said that the decision to remove Cyrus Mistry as the chairman was taken in the “larger interest of the group”. Meanwhile, Ratan Tata met Tata group CEOs at the Bombay House today. On his part, Ratan Tata has said that he decided to assume the post of the interim chairman in the interest of stability and reassurance to the group. “A new management structure is being put in place and a selection has been constituted to identify the next Chairman of Tata Sons,” he said. “The committee has been mandated to complete the process in four months. In the interim, the board has requested me to perform the role of Chairman and I have agree to do so in the interest of stability of and reassurance to the Tata group,” Ratan Tata added.