N Chandrasekharan will be taking his seat as Tata Sons chairman today at Bombay House, the Tata Group headquarters. The new Tata Sons chief will succeed Cyrus Mistry. The appointment came within a week of Tata Sons announcing Chandrasekharan as its Executive Chairman, capping two months of a bitter boardroom battle that followed the unceremonious sacking of Cyrus Mistry and letting of bad blood ever since.
According to a report by The Economic Times, the interim chief, Ratan Tata will brief the new chairman before stepping down. He will point out the priorities of Tata Group but at the same time will allow Chandra a free hand over choosing his own team or working on the set priorities. The new Tata Sons chief will then start his first day with a formal Tata Sons board meeting.
Popularly known as 'Chandra', the 54-year-old will take charge at the helm of $103-billion Tata Sons, the main holding company of the salt-to-software conglomerate from today. He will be the first non-Parsi chairman of the 150-year old Tata Group. Chandrasekharan was the CEO and MD of Tata Consultancy Services, the cash-cow for the group, since 2009. A Tata lifer, he had joined the company in 1987.
At the helm as chairman, Chandrasekaran will have to deal with Cyrus Mistry, Ratan Tata, Nusli Wadia, retail shareholders, whistle blowers and even British Prime Minister Theresa May in the initial days.
He will have to be cautious of not repeating the mistakes Mistry had made during his stint that led to his ouster. He will also have to keep Ratan Tata and other members of the Tata Trusts, including R. Venkataramanan, in the loop while taking major decisions. Tata had earlier linked the performance of Mistry to the fall in dividend earnings of the trusts. So, the performance of group companies will also be accounted for on Chandra's balancesheet.
The interim chief of Tata Sons described the appointment of N Chandrasekharan as a well deserved recognition of his proven leadership capabilities. He believes the job is complex but the new chairman will take the group to new heights while protecting its values.
Chandrasekaran has said the responsibility of his new assignment would require binding the Group together (and its) the three-tier structure with the phenomenal work that Tata Trusts - the majority holders of Tata Sons - has done very silently over a century in contributing to the society.