Having removed Cyrus Mistry as chairman of Tata Sons, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Tata Global Beverages, the Tatas on Thursday moved to have him removed as director on the board of TCS. TCS on Thursday said it has convened an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on December 13 to enable shareholders to vote on removing Mistry as director.
On November 10, Mistry was removed as chairman by the board and Ishaat Hussain was appointed in his place. Tata Sons observed in a recent release that Mistry does not “really contribute materially to TCS’s management”.
Tata Sons has already sent requisitions to Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Chemicals and Indian Hotels Company, asking them to convene EGMs for removing Mistry as director from their respective boards.
In a release to the exchanges, TCS said the board at a meeting on November 17 had “decided to convene an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) pursuant to the Special Notice & Requisition dated November 9, 2016 sent by Tata Sons Limited, shareholder of the Company holding 73.26% of the paid-up equity share capital of the Company, to consider and if thought fit, to pass a resolution for removal of Mr CP Mistry as Director of the Company”.
Meanwhile, the Tata Sons board met on Thursday and is understood to have discussed the performance of the group companies. Mistry on Thursday skipped the board meetings of the group’s holding company and its crown jewel TCS amid the raging boardroom battle at the $103-billion group.
Emerging from the Tata Sons board meeting, director Vijay Singh called it a “routine” meeting that included taking assessment of the businesses and the way ahead in the next six months. Singh added that there is no plan as of now to call extraordinary general meeting of Tata Sons.
Two more directors apart from Mistry—Farida Khambatta (who is in the US) and Jaguar Land Rover chief Ralf Speth—did not attend the meeting along with Mistry, Singh said. Ratan Tata, interim chairman since October 24 after Mistry was removed as chairman, was present at the Tata Sons meeting held in Bombay House, as were other directors including Hussain and TCS MD N Chandrasekaran, who was recently made a director at Tata Sons.
Tata Sons has accused Mistry of not having kept in mind the ethos of the Tata Group and having under-performed. Mistry’s office pointed out the nomination and remuneration committee of Tata Sons had lauded Mistry’s performance as recently as on June28 and the report had been adopted by the board.
“Tata Sons is yet to state what necessitated the replacement of Mr Mistry on October 24 without any notice or an opportunity to defend himself,” a statement from Mistry’s office said. While Mistry has been supported by several independent directors on the boards of Tata group companies, some have opted to go along with the Tatas.