With Cyrus Mistry’s ouster as the chairman of Tata Sons Ltd, the fate of his chosen advisers hangs in the balance.
The group executive council (GEC) Mistry formed soon after becoming chairman in December 2012 has been disbanded, a person familiar with the development said on condition of anonymity.
After the announcement of Mistry’s replacement, details of GEC members were removed from the Tata Sons website. A company spokesperson refused to answer queries on the reasons for this.
Mistry formed the GEC following up on his comments about the need to create a leadership team that would remain for the next 20 years with the Tata group.
Mistry brought in Madhu Kannan, then chief executive officer of BSE Ltd, as group head of business development. Kannan’s appointment was followed by that of Mukund Rajan, who was previously part of the Tata group’s private equity business, as the brand custodian and spokesperson of the group. Others who were brought in by Mistry include Harish Bhat, previously managing director of Tata Global Beverages; N.S. Rajan, who was hired from global consulting firm EY to lead human resources initiatives; and Nirmalya Kumar, a former professor of marketing at London Business School.
By forming the GEC, Mistry wanted to run a tight ship in a centralized manner. “It became a source of major discontent among a large section of the leadership team,” a Tata group executive said on condition of anonymity. “Tata CEOs, used to running their respective companies independently with only limited guidance from Tata Sons, did not take to the interference from GEC very kindly.”
Ratan Tata, who was appointed interim chairman while a selection committee of which he is a member scouts for Mistry’s replacement, is likely to announce a new management structure with a new set of advisers, a senior group executive said on condition of anonymity.