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Tata Sons removes Cyrus Mistry as Chairman; Ratan Tata interim boss for four months

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In a dramatic development that took the corporates and others by surprise, Cyrus Mistry was on Monday sacked as chairman of Tata Sons. He was replaced by Ratan Tata, who will be the interim chairman for four months.

Ratan N Tata, 78, who serves as Chairman Emeritus, will have interim charge.

The Tata Sons board has at its meeting today also set up a committee to choose a new chairman. The panel includes Mr. Tata and four others, and has been asked to complete the selection process in four months.

It has also constituted a selection committee to choose a replacement within four months. The selection committee comprises Ratan Tata, Venu Srinivasan, Amit Chandra, Ronen Sen and Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya.

“Tata Sons announced its board has replaced Mr. Cyrus P Mistry as Chairman of Tata Sons. The decision was taken at a board meeting held,” a Tata Sons statement said. “The committee has been mandated to complete the selection process in four months,” it added.

Tata Sons is the main holding company of the group.

Mistry was chosen as Tata’s successor in November 2011 and was appointed Deputy Chairman of Tata Sons, whose board he had entered in 2006. He was made chairman on the basis of his representation from Shapoorji Palonji, the largest shareholder in Tata Sons.

Mistry, who was chosen by a five-member panel in 2011 to succeed Ratan Tata, took over the reins of the conglomerate when the veteran industrialist retired on December 29, 2012, when he turned 75.
After taking charge, he had to face some challenging situations such as the decision to sell Tata Steel UK in the wake of mounting losses.
The Tata group is also engaged in a legal battle with Japan’s Docomo over the split of their telecom joint venture Tata Docomo.

Mistry had recently stated that the group “should not be afraid of taking tough decisions for the right reasons, with compassion” amid “challenging situations” confronted by some of the group’s businesses that would require hard and bolder decisions on pruning portfolio.

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