Tata Sons names Natarajan Chandrasekaran new chairman

Natarajan Chandrasekaran Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Natarajan Chandrasekaran is currently head of Tata Consultancy Services

Indian industrial giant Tata Sons has named a new chairman after the previous incumbent was ousted sparking a bitter management feud.

The role will be taken by Natarajan Chandrasekaran, who is currently chief executive of Tata Consultancy Services.

He will replace Cyrus Mistry, who was suddenly removed from the post in October 2016, in February.

Mr Mistry resigned from all boards in December having led the conglomerate for four years.

Tata Sons is the holding company for a business empire ranging from Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Steel to aviation and salt pans.

IT outsourcing giant Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is India's most-valuable company with a market capitalisation of $67bn (£55bn).

Mr Chandrasekaran started as TCS chief executive in 2009, having joined Tata in 1987. The board described him as a "Tata lifer".

He will take over as the executive chairman from 21 February, having been unanimously recommended for the role by the selection committee, the company said in a statement.

Image copyright AFP

Analysis: Sameer Hashmi, BBC News

The appointment of N Chandrasekaran as the top boss of India's largest conglomerate has not come as a huge surprise. Ever since Cyrus Mistry was fired and a selection panel formed to find his successor, Mr Chandrasekaran has been considered the front runner.

He has a proven track record having spearheaded Tata Consultancy Services for the past eight years. The IT service provider grew tremendously both in terms of profits and stature, under his leadership becoming the country's most valuable company.

The fact that he has been working with Tata for the past 30 years makes him an "insider" - which many believe will help him in running the huge conglomerate effectively.

But Mr Chandrasekaran takes charge of Tata at a time when it's facing huge challenges.

Cyrus Mistry and Tata Group have been involved in a very bitter, public battle, during which both the sides have made serious but unverified allegations against each other. The events over the past three months have damaged the group's reputation.

The other challenge will be to stabilise some of Tata's key businesses including its steel operations in Europe.

Mr Mistry's removal in October led to rancorous exchanges between him and Tata's management.

In an email to the board Mr Mistry said that he became a "lame duck" chairman and alleged constant interference, including being asked to sign off on deals he knew little about.

In October, Tata Sons' board set up a five-member selection committee that included patriach Ratan Tata to choose a new chairman within the next four months. Mr Tata took over as interim chairman of Tata Sons.

In November, Tata said Mr Mistry had presided over falling income, rising costs and had "dismantled" the company's structure.

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