Ousted Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry on Tuesday leveled allegations at Ratan Tata blaming his ego for the Corus deal at a high price. He also said Tata’s contribution to the success of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Jaguar Land Rover is an ‘illusion’. In a series of statements issued by Cyrus Mistry’s office today, it said, “Ratan Tata had pitched for selling TCS to IBM, a ‘near death experience’ for group’s crown jewel. Ratan Tata’s ‘ego’ led to Corus deal at a high price.” He also alleged that Tata’s decision to acquire Corus for more than $12 billion went against reservations of some senior executives. “Ratan Tata’s decision to acquire steelmaker Corus for more than $12 billion, when a year earlier it was available at half the price, went against the reservations of some board members and senior executives,” added the statement.
Mistry also defended his involvement in growing the revenues and profits at two key group companies, Tata Consultancy Services and Tata Motors, that make up the bulk of Tata’s $100 billion revenues. “It is important to set the record straight since insinuations and leaks are being made explicitly to create an illusion that Mistry was a ‘hands off’ chairman and TCS/JLR were on ‘auto-pilot’ during his leadership,” Mistry’s office said in a five-page letter today.
In a surprise move, Mistry was sacked as the chairman of Tata Sons on October 24 this year, nearly four years after he took over the reins of the over USD 100 billion salt-to-software conglomerate. The decision was taken at a high-level board meeting held in Mumbai. Ratan Tata is currently serving as the interim Chairman for four months during which a search committee has been tasked to find a replacement for Mistry.
In the meantime, Industrialist Nusli Wadia, who is an independent director on some Tata Group companies, served a defamation notice to Tata Sons board asking it to withdraw “false, defamatory and libelous” allegations against him. Responding to the notice, Tata Sons said “the company will respond to the notice appropriately”. Wadia is an independent director on some Tata Group companies which have called EGMs to remove him from their boards for allegedly siding with ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry.