Out: Cyrus Mistry voted out as director of Tata Sons

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Cyrus Mistry, the former chairman of Tata Sons was voted out as director of the company after an extraordinary general meeting yesterday.

The meeting, held with the sole intention of ousting Mistry was called by Tata Trusts, which is headed by Ratan Tata. The meeting ended with Tata Sons issuing a statement stating that Cyrus Mistry was removed on the back of a “requisite majority”. Mistry has been a director of the company since 2006, being elevated to the position of Chairman in 2012 before being ousted in October last year.

Ratan Tata stepped up to take a decision about the future of the company, with the board deciding to oust Cyrus Mistry.
Ratan Tata stepped up to take a decision about the future of the company, with the board deciding to oust Cyrus Mistry.

Mistry had sought a stay against the EGM but the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal had quashed this petition, paving the way for the meeting. The Tribunal will convene a meeting on February 13 to further discuss this petition.

Mistry, whose family owns an 18.5% stake in the $103 billion company was not present in the meeting. Tata Sons decided to convene this EGM on the back of Mistry’s allegations about the company, which they felt caused damage to the group.

The feud has seen Tata Sons drop out of the list of top 100 companies in the world, falling from 82 on the list in 2016 to 103 in 2017.

Tata Sons – Who owns what?

Tata Sons has a number of shareholders, with the three prominent ones being Tata Trusts, Tata Companies, and the Mistry family.

While Tata Trusts owns 66% of the company, Tata Companies owns 14%.

Cyrus Mistry and his family have an 18.5% stake in the company, with the rest owned by other shareholders.

Current Board of Directors at Tata Sons

With the ouster of Mistry, Tata Sons now has 11 Board of Directors:

  • Ratan Tata – The Interim Chairman of the company, Ratan Tata was instrumental in the decision to oust Mistry.
  • N Chandrasekaran – The Chairman designate of the group, Chandrasekaran has been with the company since 1987.
  • Ishaat Hussain – A director on the board since 2000, Hussain is also the chairman of Tata Sky and Voltas.
  • Vijay Singh – A non-executive director of the company, he is a former IAS officer.
  • Dr. Nitin Nohria – A non-executive director of the company, he is also the dean of Harvard Business School.

Other Directors in the company include:

  • Ronen Sen
  • Farida Khambata
  • Ajay Piramal
  • Venu Srinivasan
  • Ralf Speth
  • Amit Chandra

Voting pattern – Who stood with whom

The EGM saw shareholders of the company decide the fate of Cyrus Mistry. While the outcome was a foregone conclusion, there were a few key shareholders who abstained from voting. Let’s see how the voting panned out.

Voted to oust Mistry Voted against move Abstained
Noel Tata
Simone Tata
JRD Tata Trust
Tata Education Trust
Tata Social Welfare Trust
R D Tata Trust
Cyrus Mistry (proxy vote)
Jimmy Tata
Piloo Minocher Tata
Jimmy M Tata
Vera Farhad Choksey
MK Tata Trust
Maharaja Virendra Singh Chauhan*
Tata Industries
Tata International
Tata Investment Corporation

*The ownership of the share owned by Maharaja Virendra Singh Chauhan is currently under dispute.

Following this move, the family is left with no representative on the board, though Mistry could contemplate further legal actions against the company.

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