CEO and Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services Natarajan Chandrasekaran was appointed the next chairperson of Tata Sons on Thursday. He will take over from Ratan Tata, who served as the interim chief following Cyrus Mistry’s ouster from the position.
“Mr Chandrasekaran has demonstrated exemplary leadership as the chief executive officer and managing director of Tata Consultancy Services,” Tata Sons said in a statement. “We believe he will now inspire the entire Tata group to realise its potential.”
Chandrasekaran will take charge as the Tata Sons chairperson on February 21, while Ratan Tata will go back to being the chairman emeritus. “It’s a huge honour to head the group,” Chandrasekaran said. “This position requires several leadership qualities, and I feel that I will grow into this role over a period of time.”
The decision was made at an impromptu board meeting held earlier in the evening. As per company rules, Tata Sons had till February 24 to come to a decision on the next chairperson.
Moreover, Rajesh Gopinath, the current chief financial officer of TCS, will succeed Chandrasekaran as the company’s CEO. “I am humbled and honoured to be chosen to lead a truly great institution that occupies a unique position in hearts of people,” he said.
The 53-year-old had emerged the favourite for the role. Ishaat Hussain, who was made the TCS chairman after Mistry’s removal, was also in the running, along with Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralph Speth, Noel Tata and Unilever’s Harish Manwani.
A five-member selection panel was formed following Mistry’s removal from the position on October 24. They included former diplomat Ronen Sen, Warwick University’s Kumar Bhattacharyya, TVS Chairman Venu Srinivasan and Bain Capital’s Amit Chandra, according to The Economic Times. Except for Bhattacharyya, they are all on the Tata Sons board.
The holding company has been in a legal tussle with Mistry since his ouster. Mistry had stepped down from all Tata Group companies on December 19, saying it was time to be “more incisive in securing the best interest of the Tata Group”. In his resignation letter, he had alleged that Ratan Tata had staged “an illegal coup” on October 24, the day he was sacked from his post in the holding company. Tata Sons has accused Cyrus Mistry of misleading the 2011 selection committee set up to appoint Ratan Tata’s successor.