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Corporate Nov 23, 2011

The wait is over: Cyrus Mistry to takeover from Ratan Tata

By Firstbiz Staff

Tata Sons, the holding companyof over USD 80 billion conglomerate Tata Group, todayannounced that Cyrus P Mistry, the 43-year-old ManagingDirector of Shapoorji Pallonji Group, will succeed Ratan Tata when he retires in 2012. A graduate in civil engineering from Imperial College, London, Mistry has been a director of Tata Sons since August 2006.

The board of directors at Tata Sons, the apex holding company of the Tata group, met on Wednesday, November 22, and the choice of a successor to group chairman Ratan Tata was made last evening.

Cyrus P Mistry has been a director with Tata Sons since 2006. Image courtsey Tata Group.

Last year a five-member committee was formed to pick the new leader for the group. The committee made up of former Tata Sons vice-chairman Noshir A Soonawala; Tata Sons director RK Krishna Kumar; Cyrus Mistry, younger son of Pallonji Mistry, the largest single shareholder in the Tata group's holding company; Lord Bhattacharya, founder of UK-based Warwick Manufacturing; and Tata group lawyer Shirin Bharucha.

Ratan Tata is expected to step down at the end of 2012, when he turns 75.

For over two years, it has been speculated that three Tata group bigwigs - Ravi Kant of Tata Motors, S Ramadorai of Tata Consultancy Services and B. Muthuraman of Tata Steel (all of whom have relinquished their positions as CEOs and become vice-chairmen of the operating companies after turning 65) - are in the running for board positions at Tata Sons.

Tata Sons in a press statement released today said:

The board of directors of Tata Sons at its meeting today appointed Cyrus P Mistry as Deputy Chairman. He will work with Ratan N Tata over the next year and take over from him when Mr Tata retires in December 2012. This is as per the unanimous recommendation of the selection committee.

Endorsing the appointment, Mr Tata, Chairman of Tata Sons, said: "The appointment of Mr Cyrus P Mistry as Deputy Chairman of Tata Sons is a good and far-sighted choice.

He has been on the board of Tata Sons since August 2006 and I have been impressed with the quality and calibre of his participation, his astute observations and his humility. He is intelligent and qualified to take on the responsibility being offered and I will be committed to working with him over the next year to give him the exposure, the involvement and the operating experience to equip him to undertake the full responsibility of the group on my retirement."

Mr Mistry, currently managing director, Shapoorji Pallonji Group, has been a director of Tata Sons since August 2006. He is a graduate of civil engineering from Imperial College, London, and has a master of science in management from the London Business School.

As we wrote this, Mistry's profile in Bloomberg Businessweek reads with the following description:

"Mr. Mistry serves as Senior Vice President of Business Development and Technology at DQ Entertainment (International) Limited. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Shapoorji Pallonji Group and Afcons Infrastructure Limited. He has over 22 years of experience in the Indian entertainment industry in the fields of filmmaking and animation, technical and production pipelinemanagement. Mr. Mistry serves as a Director Tata Sons Limited."

Commenting on the announcement, Ratan Tata said that he was committed to working with Mistry over the next year.

Endorsing the appointment, Mr Tata, Chairman of Tata Sons, said: "The appointment of MrCyrus P Mistryas Deputy Chairman of Tata Sons is a good and far-sighted choice.

He has been on the board of Tata Sons since August 2006 and I have been impressed with the quality and calibre of his participation, his astute observations and his humility. He is intelligent and qualified to take on the responsibility being offered and I will be committed to working with him over the next year to give him the exposure, the involvement and the operating experience to equip him to undertake the full responsibility of the group on my retirement."

Responding to the appointment Mistry said, "I feel deeply honoured by this appointment. I am aware that an enormous responsibility, with a great legacy, has been entrusted to me. I look forward to Mr Tata's guidance in the year ahead in meeting the expectations of the Group. I take this responsibility very seriously and in keeping with the values and ethics of the Tata Group I will undertake to legally dissociate myself from the management of my family businesses to avoid any issue of conflict of interest."

With inputs from Agencies

by Firstbiz Staff

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