Tata Sons today announced the successor to Ratan Tata, naming Shapoorji Pallonji Group Managing Director Cyrus P Mistry as the head of over USD 80 billion conglomerate Tata Group.
The 43-year-old Mistry, the son of Pallonji Mistry, Chairman of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group that holds 18 per cent stake in Tata Sons, will take over the reins when Tata retires in December, 2012.
"The Board of Directors of Tata Sons at its meeting today appointed Cyrus P Mistry as the Deputy Chairman. He will work with Ratan N Tata over the next year and take over from him when Tata retires in December 2012," Tata Sons said in a statement.
This is as per the unanimous recommendation of the selection committee, it added.
Tata Sons had constituted a five-member committee in August last year to scout for a successor to Ratan Tata. The committee comprised Tata Sons Director R K Krishna Kumar, Tata Sons former Vice-Chairman N A Soonawala, Group Director Cyrus Mistry, Group Adviser and Lawyer Shirin Bharucha and influential British businessman Lord Kumar Bhattacharya.
Various candidates, including Tata's half-brother and son-in-law of Pallonji Mistry, Noel Tata and PepsiCo Chairperson Indra Nooyi were speculated to succeed Tata.
Commenting on the appointment, Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Sons, said: "The appointment of Cyrus P Mistry as Deputy Chairman of Tata Sons is a good and far-sighted choice.
"He has been on the Board of Tata Sons since August 2006 and I have been impressed with the quality and calibre of his participation, his astute observations and his humility."
Tata further said: "I will be committed to working with him over the next year to give him the exposure, the involvement and the operating experience to equip him to undertake the full responsibility of the Group on my retirement."
Tata, who took over as Chairman in 1991 from JRD Tata, is responsible for bringing the group to the global map with the acquisitions of Corus Steel and Jaguar Land Rover.