Who after Ratan Tata? Tata Sons may name new chairman today, N Chandrasekaran frontrunner

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New Delhi | Updated: January 12, 2017 5:20 PM

Tata Sons is likely to name a new chairman as early as Thursday, television channel CNBC TV18 reported citing sources privy to the development. Tata Sons has called a board meeting at 4 p.m. (1030 GMT), although it said no agenda for the meeting had been announced.

CEO of TCS N Chandrasekaran has been widely speculated to be one of the leading contenders for the role. (Reuters)CEO of TCS N Chandrasekaran has been widely speculated to be one of the leading contenders for the role. (Reuters)

Tata Sons is likely to name a new chairman as early as Thursday, television channel CNBC TV18 reported citing sources privy to the development. Tata Sons has called a board meeting at 4 p.m. (1030 GMT), although it said no agenda for the meeting had been announced. Tata Sons had abruptly removed Cyrus Mistry as its Chairman on October 24 and sought his ouster from operating companies like Tata Motors and TCS. He had subsequently resigned from the board of six companies, but dragged Tata Sons and his interim successor Ratan Tata to the NCLT. CEO of TCS N Chandrasekaran has been widely speculated to be one of the leading contenders for the role.

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“Let’s not speculate,” Chandrasekaran said, when asked at a news conference after the TCS results if he was getting the Tata Sons chairman’s role. Ratan Tata, patriarch of one of India’s most influential families, had taken over as interim chairman of Tata Sons after the board ousted Mistry. In October, Tata Sons’ board had set up a five-member selection committee that included Ratan Tata to choose a new chairman within the next four months. When asked if Tata Sons was naming a new chairman on Thursday, a spokesman said the company would not comment on speculation.

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Last week, Tata Sons had called a shareholders’ meeting on February 6 to remove Mistry as director of the holding company of the USD 103-billion Tata Group.

Two investment firms owned by the family of Cyrus Mistry on Wednesday filed a contempt application at NCLT against Tata Sons and its directors including Ratan Tata, alleging violation of the tribunal’s order in initiating steps to remove him from the board. In the application filed at the National Company Law Tribunal, Cyrus Investments Ltd and Sterling Investment sought an injunction against Tata Sons from “convening or holding of the EGM scheduled on February 6, 2017 or any other date or from transacting any business thereat”.

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It also sought punishment for Tata, other directors of Tata Sons and trustees of Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Sir Dorabjee Trust — N A Soonawala, R K Krishnakumar and R Venkatramana — with “simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months” or fine of Rs 2,000 or both.

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