Three members of the Group Executive Council (GEC) set up by former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry have quit. They include NS Rajan, who led the strategic function of human resources, Madhu Kannan, who was looking after business development and public affairs and strategist Nirmalya Kumar. Kannan was earlier CEO of the Bombay Stock Exchange and Kumar was professor of marketing and director of Aditya Birla India Centre at the London Business School.
The two members who got alternate roles include Mukund Rajan, who was looking after brand, communication, ethics and corporate sustainability and former Titan Chief Operating Officer Harish Bhat. Mukund Rajan is the younger brother of former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. The GEC was virtually dismantled after Mistry was removed as Chairman of Tata Sons earlier last week. The three members were appointed by Mistry.
Tata Sons announced the formation of the Group Executive Council in 2013. Chaired by Cyrus Mistry, GEC was supposed to provide strategic and operational support to the Chairman of Tata Sons. The GEC, under the aegis of the Tata Sons board, assumed responsibility for all the roles earlier performed by the Group Corporate Centre (GCC) and the Group Executive Office (GEO) which were formed by Ratan Tata.
The mandate of the GEC was to own and drive the delivery of the core purpose of Tata Sons, which is long term value creation for all stakeholders. “The agenda of the GEC includes return on investment with a long term perspective; support for and shaping of the agenda for philanthropy; preserving and enhancing the reputation of the Tata name; defining and driving a Tata way of working for group companies; and playing a proactive role so that the group fulfills its responsibility as a global corporate citizen,” Tata Sons said earlier. GEC which was to work closely with and partner the boards, CEOs and senior management of various Tata companies, did not have good rapport with some group executives.
On Tuesday, Ratan Tata, the newly appointed interim chairman, had asked the senior management of the conglomerate’s firms to focus on their businesses without being concerned about the top level change and the process to find a permanent Chairman to succeed him would soon begin.
Tata asked group companies to act as leaders in their respective markets and enhance returns to shareholders. “The companies must focus on their market position vis-à-vis competition, and not compare themselves to their own past. The drive must be on leadership rather than to follow,” he said, addressing managing directors, CEOs and senior leaders of Tata companies. The Tatas have not made any changes in the top rung of the group after Mistry’s ouster.