New In­nings with New Cap­tain at Bom­bay House

New Tata Sons chief to kick off the day with his first for­mal board meet­ing

The Economic Times - - Brands & Companies -

Dev­ina Sen­gupta & Kala Vi­jayragha­van

Mum­bai: The mood at Bom­bay House, Tata group head­quar­ters, is what top chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cers call “up­beat” as the group’s blue-eyed in-house tal­ent, N Chan­drasekha­ran takes charge for­mally as chair­man of Tata Sons.

Chan­dra, 54, a com­puter en­gi­neer, who is un­der­stood to have cho­sen to­day as an aus­pi­cious date to step into his pre­de­ces­sor Cyrus Mistry’s shoes, will kick off the day with his first for­mal Tata Sons board meet­ing, top of­fi­cials said.

He is un­der­stood to have been briefed on is­sues fac­ing the group by the in­terim chair­man Ratan Tata who will for­mally step down to­day af­ter Chan­dra, a Tata lifer, takes charge. Ratan Tata will con­tinue to be the chair­man of Tata Trusts, which owns more than two-thirds of the stake of Tata Sons. While Chan­dra has been briefed on top Tata Group pri­or­i­ties, he has been given a free hand to take a de­ci­sion on build­ing his team or work­ing on group pri­or­i­ties. “The Tata Sons meet­ing will dis­cuss the role and author­ity that Chan­dra has in as the ex­ec­u­tive chair­man and his im­me­di­ate tasks for the firms he will take charge as chair­man,” said a per­son with di­rect knowl­edge of the mat­ter. Chan­dra, as he is fondly known in busi­ness cir­cles, was se­lected as the suc­ces­sor to Mistry on Jan­uary 12 sought more time to wind up his com­mit­ments at Tata Con­sul­tancy Ser­vices the group’s cash cow. Tata wanted to re­sign the same day of the se­lec­tion but heeded to Chan­dra’s re­quest to con­tinue for some time. Chan­dra’s post at In­dia’s largest soft­ware ex­porter will be taken up by an­other TCS lifer Ra­jesh Gopinathan. Chan­dra has been nom­i­nated as chair­man on Mon­day by the TCS board. He will im­me­di­ately take over as chair­man of Tata Power and In­dian Ho­tels re­plac­ing Ish­haat Hus­sain and S Pad­man­ab­han, while IHCL is with­out a chair­man af­ter Mistry re­sig- ned on De­cem­ber19. The new chair­man has al­ready be­gun meet­ing CEOs of var­i­ous top com­pa­nies who are mak­ing pre­sen­ta­tions on their busi­ness pri­or­i­ties and cur­rent op­er­a­tions. Top of­fi­cials close to the devel­op­ment said the 2020 growth strat­egy put forth by Cyrus Mistry to the Tata Sons board has been dis­carded and will be re­placed by a new one by Chan­dra. “The pre­vi­ous GEC team es­pe­cially Nir­malya Ku­mar who had put aside sev­eral busi­nesses to be axed and all such plans will be re­viewed once again,” an of­fi­cial said. ‘’The plan is that all busi­ness re­views will be done keep­ing in mind Tata ethos and val­ues and the com­mu­nity it op­er­ates in.”

“There are also no im­me­di­ate plans to put up a GEC or a sim­i­lar ad­vi­sory coun­cil un­til Chan­dra gets a sense of the over­all group busi­ness pri­or­i­ties and needs,” the of­fi­cial added.

Also CEOs of all Tata firms have started mak­ing pre­sen­ta­tions to Chan­dra on their busi­ness and its out­look. “Th­ese are in­ter­nal mat­ters of Tata Sons, on which we do not pro­vide guid­ance,” said the group in re­sponse to an email query from ET.

Chan­dra has been nom­i­nated as chair­man on Mon­day by the TCS board. He will im­me­di­ately take over as chair­man of Tata Power and In­dian Ho­tels

VARANI SAHU

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