Sir George Buckley, one of the top British industrialist, has become a “surprise” candidate to lead the Tata group, according to a report.
In a surprise move, the Tata group had removed then chairman Cyrus P Mistry on October 24 and appointed Ratan Tata as the interim chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company of the salt-to-steel conglomerate. The Tata Sons’ board had also formed a committee comprising Ratan Tata, Venu Srinivasan, Amit Chandra, Ronen Sen and Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya to select a new chairman within four months.
On Tuesday, UK-based Sky News reported that Buckley has emerged as a “surprise” candidate for the top Tata post. The report said that Buckley has been “approached” by the Tatas for the job.
Buckley is one of the leader industrialists of Britain. He has vast experience spanning over several industries including steel, power and chemicals. He is presently the chairman of FTSE-100 engineer Smiths Group. He is now the first non-Indian whose name has been linked to the top post.
Sky News quoted “insiders” as saying that discussions to appoint Buckley are in the initial stage. Tata Sons is also talking with Uniliver COO Harish Manwani for the post. Considering Buckley’s experience, he has an edge over Manwani. However, being non-Indian may come in the way of his appointment.
One of the sources told SKY News that, if appointed, Buckley job would include mentoring a “tight” group of officials, so that one of them could succeed the British after the completion of the four-year tenure.
Earlier, reports had suggested that Tata Sons is considering to split the single chairman and chief executive post into two separate posts.
The unceremonious removal of Mistry brought to the fore fissures between him and interim chairman Ratan Tata. However, after a month of public spat, reports have suggested that a truce may be near.
According to a CNBC TV-18 report, people close to both the sides (Tata Group and Cyrus Mistry camp) have exchanged feelers over the last few days. The report clarified that the talks are at a very informal and exploratory stage and the next few days would be very crucial in deciding if a peaceful resolution can be found to the raging war. The channel reported that people close to both camps are hoping to put a lid to the public spat.