Clash of the Tatas

COMPANY bosses who get the sack react in different ways: some quietly leave, others graciously wish their successor luck, most try to nurse hurt pride as best they can. Not Cyrus Mistry, who on October 24th was ousted as chairman of the Tata Group, India’s biggest conglomerate. Bemused and angered at having his predecessor, Ratan Tata, suddenly seize back control, he has refused to go. The schism at the heart of Tata has drawn attention to what made it possible in the first place: an overly complex structure trying to oversee too many businesses, deficient corporate governance and a penchant for opacity. Whether these problems are addressed, and how, will shape the group and its reputation for decades to come. 

Tata’s reasons for sacking Mr Mistry are unclear. He is from a family that has had a nearly 20% shareholding in the group for decades (most of the other shares are controlled by charities that are chaired by Mr Tata). Allies say that after four years in the job, Mr Mistry had got to grips with the inner workings of the company. He was ready to start changing it.

His critics, on the other hand, never believed that any executive…Continue reading

from Business and finance


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