Mumbai: In a last-minute missive to shareholders of Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), hours before its extraordinary general meeting (EGM) called to oust him, Cyrus Mistry has appealed them to listen to their conscience. While the outcome of this particular meeting is a foregone conclusion, this “fight is a matter of principle,” wrote Mistry.
Tata Sons owns 73% of TCS and will remove Mistry from the software maker’s board even if all other shareholders vote against the resolution.
Mistry said that he was fighting to “save the soul of the Tata group” and “the very foundation of the institution being put to grave risk by the conduct of a few.”
“We have witnessed an unmatched erosion of ethical values,” wrote Mistry. “In the past several weeks, we have seen good governance being thrown to the wind in every sense of the term, replaced by whims, fancies and personal agenda.”
The ousted chairman of Tata Sons also said that his refusal to go did not stem from any need for retribution, not was it a hankering for office or fight over operating companies.
“The very future of TCS hinges on good governance and ethical practices,” wrote Mistry.
The crown jewel of the Tata operating companies, TCS accounted for at least 90% of Tata Sons dividends for the past three years.
While the meeting’s result is easy to predict, its outcome will offer some clues on how minority shareholders reacted to the Tata Sons resolution. Their participation or abstinence is important in other companies where Tata Sons and group companies have stakes only in the range of 35%.