Ousted Tata Sons Chairperson Cyrus Mistry on Tuesday issued a statement denying the conglomerate’s allegations that he approached businesses under him with “a view to do a quick cleansing to demonstrate decent results”. Mistry’s statement is a response to the Tata Group’s advertisement, dated November 11 in major dailies, that claimed its “expenses and impairments had increased during Mistry’s Chairmanship”. The statement said the advertisement was an attempt to “mislead the public and stakeholders”.
Claiming that the impairments and writedowns Mistry handled during his tenure were all inherited, Mistry said his focus had been on “operational improvements”. His statement claimed that the conglomerate was paying for the entire office costs of the Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata, which amounted to Rs 30 crore in 2015. It said, “A significant amount of which was for the use of corporate jets.”
The statement defended the Group Executive Council, a body set up by Mistry, saying members of the council drew their remuneration from Tata Sons and not the operating companies.
Mistry’s statement also claimed that the group was paying its new public relations manager Arun Nanda, appointed by interim chairperson Ratan Tata before Mistry took over, Rs 60 crore annually as opposed to the sum of Rs 40 crore it was paying its former PR manager Nira Radia.
Meanwhile, the board of Tata Global Beverages voted Mistry out as chairperson. Seven out of the 10 board members voted against Mistry. The company, which is the second listed firm of Group to remove Mistry, appointed non-executive director Harish Bhat to the post.
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 15, independent directors of the Tata Motors board expressed their support for Mistry. 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.
On October 24, Tata Sons had replaced Mistry with Ratan Tata as its interim chairperson. The group had also filed caveats as preventive measure, “fearing legal action” by Mistry, who was appointed the chairman of the conglomerate in 2012. His family’s Shapoorji Pallonji Group owns around one-fifth of Tata Sons. In a letter to his employees, Ratan Tata had said the decision was “absolutely necessary” for the group’s success.