Tata Group is examining at least two internal candidates as India’s largest conglomerate seeks to find a successor to ousted Chairman Cyrus Mistry, according to people familiar with the matter.
Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. Chief Executive Officer N. Chandrasekaran and Jaguar Land Rover head Ralf Speth are among those being considered, the people said, asking not to be identified because the process is private. Trent Ltd. Chairman Noel Tata, a member of the founding family and Mistry’s brother in law, is also being considered, one of the people said. The preliminary list is subject to change, according to the people, as the search committee has four months to identify a replacement.
Chandrasekaran and Speth didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Tata Sons Ltd., the group’s holding company, declined to comment. Noel Tata wasn’t immediately reachable.
On Monday, the group’s holding company abruptly ousted Mistry, 48, as chairman and replaced him with his 78-year-old predecessor Ratan Tata, who said the scion of the founding family will only fill in the role temporarily. The conglomerate has set up a committee to search for a successor.
Mistry had focused on being fiscally prudent and exiting non-profitable businesses during the nearly four years he was in charge. That was a contrast to the group’s acquisitive tendencies under Ratan Tata, who spearheaded the purchases of Jaguar Land Rover and steelmaker Corus Group Plc.
Speth and Chandrasekaran were appointed to the Tata Sons board as additional directors, Tata Sons said in a statement on Tuesday. Their appointment was in recognition “for their exemplary leaderships in their companies,” the statement said.
Tata Group on Thursday said it ousted Mistry because of a growing “trust deficit” with the biggest shareholders of the tea-to-software giant after the former head accused directors of India’s largest conglomerate of wrongfully dismissing him.