Tata Global Beverages Removes Cyrus Mistry as Chairman

Cyrus Mistry says move to remove him as Tata Global Beverages Chairman is repeat of illegality that Tata Sons Board did on Oct 24.

Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Group, speaks during the annual general meeting of Tata Consultancy Services in Mumbai

New Delhi: In a major escalation of the boardroom brawl at the Tata Group, Cyrus Mistry was on Tuesday voted out as chairman by the board of the Tata Global Beverages, the second listed firm of $103-billion Group to remove him.

Seven out of 10 directors at the board meeting of Tata Global Beverages (TGB), the maker of Tata Tea and Coffee, voted for removal of Mistry as chairman of the company, TGBL said in a regulatory filing. Last week, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) said Mistry, who was abruptly sacked as the chairman of Tata group’s holding company, has been removed and replaced by Ishaat Hussain in the interim.

Tata Global Beverages Ltd (TGBL) said Harish Bhat, a non-executive director of the company, has been appointed chairman of the company. Bhat is believed to be a confidant of Ratan Tata, who was brought back from retirement as interim chairman of Tata Sons after Mistry was shown the door.

Since taking over, the 78-year-old Tata has begun tightening his grip over the conglomerate. The crux of the matter is that even after his removal as chairman of Tata Sons, Mistry continues to head several listed companies ranging from Tata Motors to Tata Steel and Tata Power.

Tata Sons has asked Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals and Indian Hotels Co Ltd (IHCL) to call extraordinary general meeting of shareholders to remove Mistry from the board.

“The board of directors of the company considered the continuance of Cyrus P Mistry as chairman of the company at its board meeting held on November 15, 2016,” TGBL said in the regulatory filing.

“After extensive deliberations, and keeping in view the long-term interest and alignment of all stakeholders and stability of the company, the board of directors resolved to replace Cyrus P Mistry as chairman of the Company, by a majority vote, with 7 out of the 10 Directors present at the board meeting, voting in favour of the resolution.”

Illegal move: Mistry

In a short statement released after the TGB board’s decision, Mistry’s office declared that the decision to remove as chairman of TGB was a “repeat of the illegality” of his removal as chairman of Tata Sons in late October.