Cyrus gets endorsement

Nirmalya Kumar, the former group executive council (GEC) member at Tata Sons, on Saturday posted a blog where he said that even a year after the sacking of Cyrus P Mistry, only two CEOs from the group had anything negative to say about the ex-chairman and that the only entities to gain from the spat were public relation firms and lawyers.

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 22.10.17
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Looking back: Mistry

Mumbai: Nirmalya Kumar, the former group executive council (GEC) member at Tata Sons, on Saturday posted a blog where he said that even a year after the sacking of Cyrus P Mistry, only two CEOs from the group had anything negative to say about the ex-chairman and that the only entities to gain from the spat were public relation firms and lawyers.

Kumar made these comments in a blog called "How Cyrus Mistry was fired as Tata chairman".

Kumar, who was the head of strategy during Mistry's reign, was also removed on the same day.

Kumar, who is now the professor of marketing at Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University, said on the fateful day, minutes before a Tata Sons board meeting was about to begin, Ratan Tata and board member Nitin Nohria entered Mistry's cabin in the fourth floor of Bombay House where Nohria said: "Cyrus as you know the relationship between you and Ratan Tata has not been working."

Kumar added that Mistry was then given the option of resigning or facing the Tata Trusts' resolution for his removal at the board meeting. While Mistry responded by saying that they were free to take this up at the board meeting, Ratan Tata said he was sorry that things had reached this stage.

At the meeting, Mistry argued that the Articles of Association required a 15-day notice before taking up such an item for the consideration of the board, and, therefore, the action was illegal. However, Amit Chandra informed the board that the legal opinion obtained by the Tata Trusts stated that such a notice was not necessary.

"It was all over in minutes, no explanations and no opportunity for Cyrus Mistry to prepare a rebuttal," Kumar writes.

"By eschewing the public humiliation of Cyrus Mistry, the bloody aftermath that followed could have been avoided. The only winners as far as one could see were the public relations companies and lawyers, who are still having a field day,'' Kumar noted.

"Despite the best efforts of the press promoted by the six PR agencies and pressure from the internal Tata communications team, only two Tata CEOs, Bhaskar Bhat and Harish Bhat, have had anything negative to say about Cyrus Mistry in the press. And, even they, were remarkably muted in their criticism,'' he added.