THERE have only been six chairmen of the Tata Group since it was founded in 1868. There will soon be a seventh after Cyrus Mistry, the first boss of the conglomerate not connected to the founding family, was ousted after less than four years in charge. Even though he undertook few of the reforms needed to bring vast swathes of the Tata empire to profitability, he will prove a difficult act to follow. That the ousted man has now embarked on an extraordinary rampage against his old employer will scarcely help.
Mr Mistry might reasonably have expected to serve for a couple of decades at the helm of India’s biggest group, with interests from IT to cars, hotels, salt, steel and much else besides. His departure on October 24th was a surprise. For a company with a culture of consensus, the abruptness of his sacking—the board did not even give him the option of stepping down, and the purging of many of the top executives he had hired—is about as brutal as it comes. Ratan Tata, his predecessor, will take over while a new boss is found.
The catalyst for the defenestration was the lack of performance at some of the group’s big companies….Continue reading