Ratan Tata, the 79-year Tata group patriarch, today clarified that he has no plans to step down as chairman of Tata Trusts at this juncture. His response came after a Times of India report earlier said the interim chairman of Tata Sons would soon relinquish his position from the post of chairmanship at Tata Trusts, which controls 66 percent in Tata Sons, the holding company of a slew of Tata group companies.
"The reference to the media discussion with some Trustees relate to the process being put in place for the leadership succession in the Trusts in the future, to enable an ordered and smooth transition of leadership," Tata Sons said in a statement issued to media.
The statement made its amply clear that Ratan Tata would continue with the several initiatives of the Trusts, and a proper process will be followed for the smooth transition at an appropriate time.
"Mr. Tata also emphasized that the Trusts were undertaking many initiatives that had national impact and he is looking forward to continuing his involvement with these initiatives in the Trusts. He was however keen that a process should be in place for a smooth succession at an appropriate time," the release said.
Speaking to Times of India, R K Krishna Kumar, a veteran with Tata group and long-time aid of Ratan Tata, said the process to induct a new chairman of Tata Trusts could be complement by June next year with the advise from an external consultant.
In an interview with financial daily Business Standard, Krishna Kumar said the group had been discussing a succession plan for Tata Trusts, even before the current imbroglio started in late October.
"Yes, only two months before the imbroglio, we had discussed putting a successive plan for the Trusts in place. It is in the process," said Krishna Kumar in an interview with BS.
He added that Tata's successor at the Tata Trusts could be an external person even though the current trustees are free to suggest potential candidates, the TOI report added.
The Tata group is currently embroiled in a corporate battle with the erstwhile chairman of Tata Sons, Cyrus Mistry, who was replaced by Ratan Tata in a board-led decision in October end.
While Cyrus Mistry has been voted out as director from three Tata group companies, the ex-chairman's fate at other group companies- notably Tata Motors, Tata Steel - will be decided at the extra ordinary general meetings over the next one week.
Updated Date: Dec 16, 2016 15:52:37 IST