Cyrus Mistry, a Tata in all but name
Announced on Wednesday as the heir apparent to Ratan Tata, the group's long-standing chairman, Mistry will become head of one of India's most storied business groups.
A five-man selection team - which included the 43-year-old Mistry himself - spent 15 months searching for a successor to 73-year-old Tata, in a closely guarded process that had India Inc guessing.
In the end, the panel didn't have to look far.
Mistry's grandfather first bought shares in Tata Sons in the 1930s, a stake that currently stands at 18.5 percent in the hands of Mistry's father, Pallonji Mistry, the largest single shareholder in a firm mostly controlled by trusts.
The chairman-in-waiting, who will head a group with revenues in excess of $83 billion, is brother-in-law to Noel Tata, Ratan Tata's half-brother. Noel Tata was considered by many observers to have been the front-runner in the race for the chairmanship.
Mistry's father, a reclusive billionaire with an estimated wealth of $7.6 billion according to Forbes, paved the way for his younger son's ascendancy to the top of a group founded by Ratan Tata's great-grandfather.
In Tata circles, Pallonji is dubbed the Phantom of Bombay House for the quiet but assured way he commands power around the south Mumbai headquarters of the Tata empire.
When Pallonji retired from the board of Tata Sons in 2006, having been granted a year's extension past the 75-year age cap, his then 38-year-old son stepped into his
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