Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

N Chandrasekaran appointed as Tata Motors chairman

Chandra, the newly appointed Tata Sons chairman, is likely to take over as chairman of all important group operating companies, in keeping with the tradition at the conglomerate

Published: Jan 17, 2017 07:51:50 PM IST

N Chandrasekaran appointed as Tata Motors chairman
Tata Sons’ chairman-designate N Chandrasekaran
Image: Dinesh Krishnan

Tata Sons’ chairman-designate N Chandrasekaran, who is slated to assume office on February 21, was appointed as the chairman of the salt-to-software group’s automobile arm Tata Motors on Tuesday, according to PTI.

The announcement is on expected lines since, traditionally, the chairman of the $103 billion-group is also the chairman of various group operating companies in which Tata Sons is the principal promoter shareholder.

Chandra, as he is popularly known, was the managing director and chief executive officer of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the group’s most valuable and profitable company. He was appointed as the seventh chairman of the 149-year-old conglomerate on January 12, following a Tata Sons board meeting.

It is likely that other Tata group companies, many of them listed, like Tata Steel, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, and Indian Hotels Company will follow Tata Motors’ suit and announce Chandra as their chairman in the coming weeks after inducting him on their respective boards. The earnings season is currently underway and the boards of directors of Tata group companies will convene over the next few weeks to approve earnings for the third quarter of fiscal 2017.

Chandra’s ascendance to the top job at one of India’s iconic business houses was propelled by the sacking of former chairman Cyrus Mistry on October 24, following a breakdown of relationship and trust deficit between Tata Sons directors and Tata Trusts nominees on one side and Mistry on the other. This was followed by Mistry’s predecessor Ratan Tata coming back as interim chairman of the group. Tata had made it clear that he would only fort for a maximum of four months in which time a selection committee was mandated to find Mistry’s successor. The committee took less time than that, and announced its decision to the world earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the National Company Law Tribunal is also expected to deliver its verdict on the contempt of court petition filed by Mistry’s family firms against Tata Sons, which has called for a shareholders’ meeting in February to evict Mistry from the board of the flagship holding company, where he still continues as a director.

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