Tata Motors on Tuesday appointed Tata Sons chairman-designate N Chandrasekaran as its Chairman with immediate effect. The auto major is the first listed Tata company to bring the incoming Tata Sons chief as the chairman.
“The board of directors today (Tuesday) appointed Natarajan Chandrasekaran as additional director and chairman of the board with immediate effect,” the company said in a regulatory filing. The appointment comes five days after Tata Sons announcing Chandrasekaran as its executive chairman, ending two months of a bitter boardroom battle that followed the unceremonious sacking of Cyrus Mistry.
Chandrasekaran will take charge as Tata Sons chairman on February 21.
Jaguar Land Rover of the UK which was acquired by Tata Motors, has been the driving the company’s profits while its domestic unit was facing tough times. JLR’s profit after tax for the half year ended September 2016 stood at 400 million pounds (1,143 million pounds in the corresponding period last year). Tata Motors posted a net loss of Rs 430 crore ($65 million) in the quarter through September, compared with a Rs 3,290 crore profit a year earlier.
Chandrasekaran, who quit as the TCS MD & CEO last week, will also have to pay special attention to the Nano. Mistry had alleged that Tata Motors has been unable to shut down the loss making small car due to “emotional reasons” and doing so would also stop the supply of “gliders” to an entity that makes electric cars in which Ratan Tata has a stake. “This product has consistently lost money, peaking at Rs 1,000 crore,” Mistry said in his letter written to Tata Sons board members a day after he was ousted as the chairman.
Meanwhile, corporate sources said the Tata group is exploring ways to boost its stakes in key listed companies including Tata Motors. Tata Sons plans to raise its ownership over time in five of its largest businesses including Tata Motors, Indian Hotels and Tata Steel. One of the main agenda before Chandrasekaran will be to prepare a plan to protect group companies from potential takeover threats.