New Innings with New Captain at Bombay House
New Tata Sons chief to kick off the day with his first formal board meeting
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