Cyrus Mistry will be the second person appointed from outside the Tata family to head the group after Nowraji Saklatwala who held the chair from 1932 to 1938. Mistry will work with Ratan Tata for one year and will take over in December 2012.
Mistry has been a director of Tata Sons since August 2006. Apart from the Tata Group, he also serves as a director on the board of several other companies, including Shapoorji Pallonji & Co, Forbes Gokak, Afcons Infrastructure and United Motors (India).
Mistry's news as being a successor to Ratan Tata comes as a big surprise for various industrialists and media houses. There are several questions which went unanswered.
Interestingly, the Mistry menage holds around 18.5% stake in Tata Group, the largest stake owner after Tata Trusts and Tata Group companies. He was also the part of selection committee who were in search of successor to Tata from past 15 months. How can a person in selection committee can select himself? Eh? Strange! Apparently, the press statement does not reveal the procedure of selecting the next pillar after Ratan Tata.
Mistry is the brother-in-law of of Noel Tata, the half-brother of Ratan Tata. Noel Tata, is the CEO of the retail arm of the Tata Group. Many speculated that he may be the one to head the group, the news in air.
On November 23, 2011, the Tata Group released a statement saying: “The board of directors of Tata Sons at its meeting today appointed Cyrus P Mistry as Deputy Chairman. He will work with Ratan N Tata over the next year and take over from him when Mr Tata retires in December 2012. This is as per the unanimous recommendation of the selection committee.
Endorsing the appointment, Mr Tata, Chairman of Tata Sons, said: “The appointment of Mr Cyrus P Mistry as Deputy Chairman of Tata Sons is a good and far-sighted choice. "He has been on the board of Tata Sons since August 2006 and I have been impressed with the quality and calibre of his participation, his astute observations and his humility. He is intelligent and qualified to take on the responsibility being offered and I will be committed to working with him over the next year to give him the exposure, the involvement and the operating experience to equip him to undertake the full responsibility of the group on my retirement.”