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Cyrus Mistry backed by independent directors of Tata Motors

They stopped short of endorsing him but said that the ousted chairman had executed decisions made unanimously by the board.

Independent directors of the board of Tata Motors on Monday expressed their support for ousted Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry, but did not entirely endorse him. This comes days after he was endorsed by the independent directors of Tata Chemicals and Indian Hotels.

”The independent directors have confirmed that all decisions made by the board with regard to the strategy, operations and business of the company have been unanimous and executed by the chairman and the management accordingly,” Tata Motors Secretary HK Sethna said in a statement to the bourses. Tata Motors accounts for around 40% of the Tata Group’s earnings.

The six independent directors of the 11-member board of Tata Motors had met separately before the full board meeting to discuss the “impact and significance of recent events and media reports relating to the governance, management and business of the company”. They include Bombay Dyeing and Britannia Industries Chairman Nusli Wadia, whom Tata Sons had pushed to have removed from the board of Tata Motors, Tata Steel and Tata Chemicals.

As per rules, independent directors are mandated to meet separately at least once a year to review the performance of the non-independent directors, including the company’s chairman. Tata Sons, the holding company which removed Mistry as its chairman on October 24, controls 19.35% of Tata Chemicals, 26.51% of Tata Motors and 29.75% of Tata Steel – the three major operating companies of the Tata Group conglomerate.

Despite his ouster, Mistry remains the chairman of a number of Tata companies, including Tata Steel and Tata Motors, as well as on the Tata Sons board. On November 10, he was replaced by Ishaat Hussain as the interim chairperson of Tata Consultancy Services, in which Mistry holds majority stake. The Tata Group has accused Mistry of being responsible for its dwindling revenue.

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