Top execs quit, adding to group's uncertainty

A name board is pictured at the entrance of Bombay House, headquarters of Tata Group, in Mumbai.
A name board is pictured at the entrance of Bombay House, headquarters of Tata Group, in Mumbai. PHOTO: REUTERS

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI • Three senior group executives at India's Tata Sons have resigned, people close to the matter told Reuters, as management woes appeared to deepen at the US$100 billion (S$139 billion) conglomerate following the stunning ouster of its chairman.

The three executives were members of an executive council disbanded after Tata dismissed chairman Cyrus Mistry last Monday.

The council, comprising five senior Tata Group executives and Mr Mistry, was tasked with creating long-term value for stakeholders and boosting returns on investment.

Those who quit are group human resources chief N.S. Rajan; group business development and public affairs head Madhu Kannan; and group strategy executive Nirmalya Kumar.

Reuters reported earlier in the week that the other two council executives, Mr Mukund Rajan and Mr Harish Bhat, would take on senior level responsibilities within the Tata group.

While the group's structure is likely to change with Mr Mistry's exit, there appears to be no management crisis as each Tata company has its own team of public affairs and business development executives.

But some governance experts say the resignations of senior executives risk increasing the sense of uncertainty at Tata.

"People leaving at senior levels shows there's a lack of confidence between the two sides, and that needs to be reinstated at the earliest to contain any longer-term damage," said Mr Shriram Subramanian of InGovern, a shareholder advocacy group.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2016, with the headline 'Top execs quit, adding to group's uncertainty'. Print Edition | Subscribe