Ratan Tata’s meet with Group CEOs today; Cyrus Mistry may seek legal recourse on his ouster

Ratan Tata will meet Tata Group CEOs on Tuesday, a day after Cyrus Mistry was sacked as Chairman of Tata Sons and was replaced by him.

Ratan Tata will meet the CEOs at 11.30 am, as per media reports.

The surprise announcement came after the Board of Tata Sons met here and decided to replace 48-year-old Mistry and appoint Ratan Tata, 78, as interim head.

The board named a five-member search committee, which includes Tata, to choose a successor to Mistry within four months.

CEOs at the operating company level of the group have not been touched in the rejig.

Meanwhile, Shapoorji Pallonji Group, Cyrus Mistry’s family firm and the majority stake holder in Tata Sons is likely to contest the ‘illegal’ removal of Mistry as the chairman of the company, as per reports.

A report in the ET Now stated that Pallonji Group said it will contest the move and at the decision to remove Mistry was not unanimous.

If this turns out to be true, this could be the one of the biggest legal battles in the history of India Inc.

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.

In an interview with an in-house magazine, 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.

This was in contrast to steps taken by Ratan Tata, who led the group into some notable acquisitions, starting from Tetley by Tata Tea for USD 450 million in 2000, to steelmaker Corus by Tata Steel in 2007 and the landmark Jaguar Land Rover in 2008 for USD 2.3 billion by Tata Motors.

During Ratan Tata’s tenure, the group’s revenues grew manifold, totalling USD 100.09 billion (around Rs 475,721 crore) in 2011-12 from a turnover of a mere Rs 10,000 crore in 1991.

Born on July 4, 1968, Mistry completed his graduation in civil engineering from London’s Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine and followed it up with a masters in Management from the London Business School.

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