The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ratan Tata assumes new role

Mumbai, Dec. 28: Ratan Tata, who turned 65 today, is on a holiday in South Africa and so are most of the top honchos in Bombay House. There has been a change in the designation of the top man. But, otherwise nothing has changed.

Tata, who shares his birthday with the late Dhirubhai Ambani, today gave up all his executive posts in the Tata empire and will function as non-executive chairman from tomorrow.

According to the retirement plan devised by him that saw the exit of many old Tata satraps like Russi Mody and Darbari Seth, when they turned 70, all Tata executives have to step down from their respective positions at the age of 65.

In his new non-executive capacity, Tata would hold the reins of the diverse group and would continue to steer it till 70 when all Tata employees retire finally, group officials said.

Tata would be involved in the business and the Group Executive Office, which includes executive directors Ishaat Hussain, R. Gopalakrishnan and Kishore Chaukar.

In a board meeting held last week, Tata was re-appointed as the non-executive chairman of Tata Sons.

Tata had already given up executive posts in the flagship group companies in the over Rs 48,000-crore Tata empire, while retaining the post of the chairman in the non-executive capacity.

“Hence, nothing has changed,” said a corporate observer.

However, Tata is yet to name a successor. Commenting on his successor, Tata told a leading foreign business daily some time ago: “A person who has the vision to take the group where we would like to go. A person who embodies the value system that my predecessor and the founder put into the group.”

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