The board meeting is critical for the company as Mr Krishna Kumar retires in July this year at the age of 65, and the meeting will put to rest speculation, which has been rife on the succession issue.
No agenda has been set yet for the June 5 board meeting of the company. With little time to go, the air is clouded with questions on succession at IHCL, even as names of candidates in the reckoning are doing the round. The possibility of an outsider is not ruled out. One name that is being whispered in hushed tones is that of Tata Teleservices managing director S Ramakrishnan, who was formerly the deputy managing director of IHCL. However, no official confirmation is available, and Mr Ramakrishnan was not reachable for his comments.
Earlier, speculation was rife that IHCL executive director (finance) Zubin Dubash might take over from Mr Krishna Kumar. However, the company had denied the possibility then.
Mr Ramakrishnan has been associated with the Tata Group for about 30 years. Having started his career with the Taj Group of Hotels in 1973, Mr Ramakrishnan became a full-time director in the company in 1982. He moved to Tata Industries in 1992 and was, from 1997 to 1999, the deputy managing director of IHCL.
Mr Krishna Kumar, who was appointed director on the board of Tata Sons in January 2002, has served in several Tata companies for the last 39 years. He was appointed managing director of Tata Tea in 1991, and subsequently moved to IHCL as managing director in 1997. Under Mr Krishna Kumars leadership, IHCL has witnessed a significant restructuring of its operations. He has been an active participant in the transformation of the Taj Group of Hotels and Tata Tea.