The board of Tata Sons shocked corporate India by sacking Cyrus Mistry as chairman four years into the job as Ratan Tata emerged from retirement to wrest back control of the group that bears his family name. The unprecedented move could spark a battle between two of Mumbai’s oldest business families, which share close ties — the Mistrys own about a fifth of Tata Sons, the group holding company.
Tata Sons said a selection committee will choose a permanent replacement for Cyrus Mistry in the next four months. Tata, 78, who quit in 2012 after more than 20 years in charge, will serve as interim chairman of India’s biggest conglomerate during that period. Mistry, 48, remains a Tata Sons director. Tata, who has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi informing him of the move, is likely to meet group CEOs on Tuesday.
Neither Tata nor Mistry could be reached for comment amid speculation about non-performance and undermining of the group’s value system. Tata said in a note to employees that he’d agreed to serve as interim chairman “in the interest of stability of and reassurance to the Tata Group.”