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Tata Steel Names Cyrus Mistry To Succeed Ratan Tata As Chairman

12/14/2012 10:36 AM ET

Indian steel giant Tata Steel Ltd. (TTST.L), announced Friday the appointment of Deputy Chairman Cyrus Mistry as the chairman of the board, effective December 28. He joined the board of Tata Steel as an additional director in May. Mistry will succeed Ratan Tata, who is retiring from the Board.

The company also announced that Ratan Tata has been conferred the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus. He has had a five decade long tenure with the group and took over as chairman in 1991.

However, Ratan Tata will remain chairman of the various Tata trusts, which hold 66 percent shares of Tata Sons.

The Tata patriarch reportedly told Mistry, "you should be your own person, you should take your own call and you should decide what you want to."

Mistry will be the sixth chairman of the Tata group and the second non-Tata family member after Sir Nowroji Saklatvala, to be named chairman.

Mistry joined the board of Shapoorji Pallonji and Co. as a director in 1991 and is currently the managing director of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group since 1994. He is the youngest son of Indian-born Irish construction magnate Pallonji Mistry, who incidentally is the largest shareholder of Tata Sons.

Since November 7, Mistry has also been named chairman of other group companies such as Tata Motors, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Global Beverages, and Indian Hotels, all effective December 28, 2012. Meanwhile, Ratan Tata has been conferred the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus at all these companies.

The $100 billion Tata Group announced late November the appointment of India-born Irish national Mistry as deputy chairman and chairman-designate of Tata Group and its holding company Tata Sons. This will make him the first non-Indian national to head the 144-year-old diversified salt-to-software Indian conglomerate.

Mistry, currently deputy chairman of the conglomerate that spans automobiles, IT, hotels, tea and steel across 80 countries, has been working closely with Ratan Tata to prepare for the transition.

Mistry has been a director of Tata Sons since 2006 and was appointed deputy chairman in November 2011. Earlier this month, he was appointed the deputy chairman of Tata Steel and Tata Chemicals. Tata Motors and Tata Consultancy Services had also inducted Mistry as deputy chairman.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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