In a detailed blog post, Nirmalya Kumar, a former member of the Group Executive Council (GEC) of Tata Sons, revealed how ex-chairman Cyrus Mistry was dramatically sacked. In a blog titled “How Cyrus Mistry was Fired as Tata Chairman”, Nirmalya Kumar wrote that Cyrus Mistry texted his wife Rohiqa saying “I am being sacked”, moments after he was informed by Ratan Tata and Tata Sons board member Nitin Nohria that Tata Trusts has decided to replace him.
Nirmalya Kumar, who worked as a strategy thought leader at GEC and is a Professor of Marketing at Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University, also wrote how Cyrus Mistry protested over the “illegality” of the subsequent board resolution to sack him.
At the board meeting on the 4th floor of Bombay House, which is the headquarters of the Tata Group, Mistry termed the motion to remove him as “illegal”. He said that “the articles of association required a 15-day notice before taking up such an item for the consideration of the Board.” Tata Trust nominee Amit Chandra, however, informed the board such a notice was not necessary. Also Read: NCLT rejects Mistry’s plea to transfer case to Delhi from Mumbai
In spite of constant “protests” by Cyrus Mistry on the “illegality of events”, the board went ahead with the voting, with six members — Ajay Piramal, Amit Chandra, Nitin Nohria, Ronen Sen, Venu Srinivasan, Vijay Singh — all casting in favour of the motion, while Farida Khambata and Ishaat Hussain abstaining from voting.
“It was all over in minutes, no explanations and no opportunity for Cyrus Mistry to prepare a rebuttal,” Kumar wrote in the blog.
The blog further described how Mistry started “packing his personal effects” after the meeting and was informed that he no longer needs to return to work from the next day when he asked about the same.
Kumar went on to describe how he, along with two other members of GEC, Harish Bhat and N S Rajan, was at Taj Hotel in Mumbai for an event, completely unaware of the sacking. He further described how, in the middle of the event, “N S Rajan was looking at his phone and unexpectedly walked off the podium. He returned a few minutes later, ashen-faced, and whispered in my ear that the Chairman has been asked to step down.”
The trio later learnt from the media that Mistry, along with three GEC members, was removed from the company.