The board of Tata Sons, the holding company of the $100-billion Tata group, today conferred the honorary title of chairman emeritus on Ratan Tata, the group's outgoing chairman. The board also announced the appointment of Cyrus Mistry as the chairman after Tata's retirement on December 28.
As chairman emeritus, Tata will not attend Tata Sons board meetings or have any day-to-day responsibility. Over the past week, Tata was appointed chairman emeritus of various group firms, including Tata Motors and Tata Chemicals.
"This is a nice way to thank for lifetime services and gives corporate leaders time to pursue other interests," said a corporate insider on the title, which is rarely given across the world. Among other India Inc veterans to be appointed chairmen emeritus is Mahindra & Mahindra's Keshub Mahindra.
Before Ratan Tata, JRD Tata had also been conferred this title by Tata Sons. While JRD had left the chairman's position at the Tata group trusts, Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and Sir Ratan Tata Trust, Ratan Tata would continue to remain the chairman of these trusts, which together have 66 per cent stake in Tata Sons.
Ratan Tata is also expected to shift to a new office at Elphinstone Building near Bombay House, the iconic British-era building that houses the headquarters of Tata Group firms.
"If you want my inputs, I will give it to you but be your own man and be yourself; just be driven by the fact that each of your acts and the moves you make has to stand the test of public scrutiny. If it stands the test, do it... if it doesn't, don't do it," Tata has told Mistry.