Hardening its stand, Tata Sons today said its management will do whatever is required to deal with the situation arising out of the ouster of Cyrus Mistry and wanted its independent directors to ensure future of Tata companies and interest of all stakeholders is protected.
In a late-evening statement, Tata Sons said in its statement on November 10, 2016, it has already put forward facts so that the decision of the Tata Sons board “to replace Cyrus P Mistry as chairman is seen in the desired perspective”.
“The Tata Sons management will do whatever is required to deal with the situation,” it said. Last week, the promoter company of the major operating Tata group firms had accused Mistry of betraying trust and trying to seek control of main operating companies of the over $100 billion group.
It had also punched holes into Mistry’s performance over four years and listed Tata Steel Europe, DoCoMo-Tata Tele joint venture and Tata Motors’ Indian operations as “problem companies” where there was no “noticeable improvement in operations” and the situation has worsened with widening losses, increasing debt and declining market share.
Referring to the changes announced in the management roles of the company on November 4, Tata Sons asked its board of group firms and independent directors to keep the interest of the group as priority. “In light of the developments since November 4, 2016, Tata Sons reiterates that it is crucially important for boards, including independent directors, to consider that their views and positions ensure the future of Tata companies is protected, taking into consideration the interest of all stakeholders,” the statement said.
On November 4, Tata Sons had announced organisational changes bringing in S Padmanabhan as the group human resources head. Besides, former Tata brand custodian under Mistry’s regime Mukund Rajan has been given the responsibility of overseeing operations of the overseas representative offices of Tata Sons in the US, Singapore, Dubai and China.
This is in addition to his existing responsibility of ethics and sustainability. Harish Bhat, who is responsible for marketing and customer centricity, will henceforth also be responsible for managing the Tata Brand. The Tata Sons statement comes days after independent directors of IHCL came out in support of Mistry while Tata Chemicals independent directors also showed their support to him.
Last week, Tata Sons, which holds 26.51 per cent stake in Tata Motors, asked the owner of Jaguar Land Rover to convene an extra-ordinary general meeting of the company to consider its resolution seeking removal of Chairman Cyrus Mistry and independent director Nusli Wadia.
Besides, Tata Sons has served notices to IHCL, Tata Steel and Tata Chemicals to convene shareholders meeting to oust Mistry and Wadia from their boards. The board room battle in the Tata group has escalated ever since Mistry was ousted on October 24. The Ratan Tata camp has been trying to evict Mistry from the chairmanship of group companies and has already fired him as chairman of TCS. However, Mistry with the support of independent directors, including Wadia, have been able to hold on to his position as chairman in Indian Hotels Co Ltd and Tata Chemicals.