Tata Group interim chairman, Ratan Tata
Image: Shailesh Andrade / Reuters
Employees are one of the most important stakeholders and valuable assets of any commercial corporation, and when it comes to the Tata Group, they have some 660,000 of them.
In a bid to assuage concerns that have arisen due to the sudden removal of Cyrus Mistry as chairman of the salt-to-software conglomerate, interim chairman Ratan Tata decided to write to the group’s employees directly and allay their fears.
Tata stated in the letter that he had received many calls and emails from employees asking about the future course of the group and its companies and their operations. “I understand and appreciate that a period of change like this can lead to a sense of uncertainty,” Tata said in his communication.
He went on to say that the decision taken by the board of Tata Sons, the flagship holding company of the $103 billion-group, to replace its chairman was “Well-considered and a serious one for its board members. This difficult decision, made after careful and thoughtful deliberation, is one the board believes was absolutely necessary for the future success of the Tata Group.”
The 78-year-old business leader who has helmed the conglomerate for over three decades re-affirmed that the group is “well-served” and group companies have their own “empowered leadership.” He reiterated his earlier message to the CEOs of individual group companies last week, asking them to focus on their profit margins and market positions vis-à-vis competition, and not compare themselves with their own past. “The focus has to be on ‘leading’ rather than ‘following”.
Tata, who is in charge of the group for a period of four months, in which time a selection committee is expected to identify Mistry’s successor, said that he was excited at the opportunity to lead the conglomerate and work with its employees once again to “maintain stability and continuity of leadership.”
“I am looking forward with equal excitement to the finalization by the selection committee of a world-class leader to be new chairman of the group,” Tata said.