Tata Sons on Friday rubbished media reports suggesting that Ratan Tata was likely to step down as interim chairperson of the Tata Trusts. In a statement, the company said there were no such plans at the moment. Tata Trusts holds 66% stake in the $100-billion Tata conglomerate’s holding company Tata Sons.
The company’s said, “The reference to the media discussion with some trustees relate to the process being put in place for the leadership succession in the Trusts in the future, to enable an ordered and smooth transition of leadership.” The statement said that Ratan Tata was looking forward to staying involved with a number of initiatives taken up by the Trusts. They said he was, however, also keen to ensure “a smooth succession at an appropriate time”.
The reports quoted Ratan Tata’s long-time confidant RK Krishna Kumar, and said the Trusts have asked an external consultant to help them through the selection process. The reports had also suggested that a new chairperson will be appointed by the middle of next year, and it will be an Indian, though not necessarily from the Tata family.
Ratan Tata was made the interim chairperson of the company on October 24, after Cyrus Mistry was removed from the post allegedly for dwindling revenues. Mistry was appointed chairperson in 2011 on the basis of his representation from Shapoorji Palonji, the largest shareholder in Tata Sons.