R Venkataramanan has quit as Managing Trustee of Tata Trusts, the majority shareholder of $100-billion Tata Sons. “A Committee of Trustees, comprising Ratan N Tata, Chairman of the Trusts, and Vijay Singh and Venu Srinivasan, Vice-Chairmen of the Trusts, has been established with immediate effect to oversee the operations and select a Chief Executive for the Trusts,” it said in a statement.
Venkataramanan informed the “Chairman and the trustees of the Tata Trusts that he had been considering other options, given that he was completing five years as the Trusts’ Executive Trustee/ Managing Trustee, and sought to be relieved”, Trusts said.
Speculation was rife that some trustees were not happy with the high compensation of Rs 2.66 crore paid to Venkataramanan. Tata Trusts which collectively own 66 per cent of Tata Sons, had been reportedly served an order by the Income-tax Department withdrawing tax exemption in late December 2018 because of the high compensation. “The trustees placed on record the significant contribution of Venkataramanan in steering and executing the objectives of the Trusts’ portfolios over the last five years. In addition to interventions through grants, the Trusts now also pursue large-scale programmes through direct implementation and partnerships with multiple state governments and foundations,” it said.
The trustees also appointed Noel N Tata, chairman of Trent Ltd and managing director of Tata International, and Jehangir H C Jehangir, long standing philanthropist who is currently spearheading the healthcare mission at Jehangir Hospital, Pune, as trustees of Sir Ratan Tata Trust.