Tata Motors on Tuesday appointed Natarajan Chandrasekaran the additional director and chairman of the board with immediate effect. The company made the announcement in a regulatory filing, reported PTI.
The 53-year-old is expected to turn around the auto major’s fortune. He will have to pay special attention to the company’s passenger vehicles segment, particularly Nano. Ousted Tata Sons chairperson Cyrus Mistry had alleged that Nano was a loss-making car and that Tata Motors could not shut it down because of “emotional reasons”. In a letter to Tata Son’s board members, Mistry had said, “This product has consistently lost money, peaking at Rs 1,000 crore. As there is no line of profitability for the Nano, any turnaround strategy for the company requires to shut it down. Emotional reasons alone have kept us away from this crucial decision.”
This comes a week after Chandrasekaran was appointed the next chairperson of Tata Sons. Chandrasekaran will take charge as the Tata Sons chairperson on February 21, while Ratan Tata will go back to being the chairman emeritus. Chandrasekaran is the first non-Parsi to be appointed to the top post at Tata Sons.
The decision was made at an impromptu board meeting. As per company rules, Tata Sons had till February 24 to decide the next chairperson. A five-member selection panel was formed following Mistry’s removal from the position on October 24.
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.