Nataraja Chandrasekaran, CEO and MD of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) since 2009, was named the new Chairman of Tata Sons on 12th January, 2017. Chandrasekaran’s appointment as Chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company of the $103 billion Tata Group, comes after the ouster of Cyrus Mistry on October 24th 2016. Rajesh Gopinathan has been appointed TCS’ new CEO. The group patriarch, Ratan Tata, had been serving as interim Chairman since then. Chandrasekaran’s appointment was announced well ahead of the February 24, 2017 deadline for selecting a new Chairman. A five-member panel was constituted in October to shortlist candidates for this position saw Ratan Tata, TVS Group head Venu Srinivasan, Amit Chandra of Bain Capital, former diplomat Ronen Sen and Lord Kumar Bhattacharya come together to make this decision. Other contenders for this title included Tata stalwarts like Noel Tata, Ishaat Hussain and S Ramadorai. This selection has surprised a few Tata group insiders and the community at large, who had thought that Noel Tata would succeed Cyrus Mistry as the leader.
Chandrasekaran is the conglomerate’s first non-Parsi Chairman. A Tata ‘lifer’, he started his career with the group, and is today hailed as India’s topmost CEO, steering TCS into record profits and a market leading performance. “At the Tata group, we are at an inflection point. I’m aware that this role comes with huge responsibilities. I will grow into this role over a period of time but I will need support for this and will reach out to everyone. It will be a collective leadership. It will be my endeavor to help progress the group with the ethos, ethics and values that the Tata group is built on,” he said at his first press conference after being named the Chairman.
On 24 October, 2016, in a shocking development, the Tata Sons Board of Directors removed Mistry as its Chairman. This developed into a tumultuous two months public spat between Mistry and the Tata Group. The matter has now reached the courts.