The surprise removal of Tata Sons' chairman Cyrus Mistry and the return of family patriarch Ratan Tata, may distract the conglomerate from its efforts to trim debt and reshape some of its businesses. Laura Frykberg reports on why the move is puzzling the industry..
He's said to be a man of few words. No surprise then, that no one knows why Ratan Tata is back in charge of one of India's largest conglomorates. The 78-year-old's reinstatement at Tata Sons follows the sacking of Cyrus Mistry. A younger chairman who'd been in the job for four years. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CO FOUNDER, SEVEN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, JUSTIN URQUHART STEWART, SAYING: "You're dealing with something that's obviously a huge international combine, but also at the same time a rather unusual soap opera from the Indian continent. In this soap opera we're seeing issues over what is happening with the changing of the board, and why, Mister Mistry is actually gone, and it is - as his name implies - a mystery for the time being." Media reports suggest Mistry's recent actions had angered the board. He'd been trying to shake up the $100 billion group. By bringing in new faces at senior levels. (SOUNDBITE) (English) A MARKET EXPERT, ALOK CHURIWALA, SAYING: "The manner in which this has happened and the abruptness of this entire move has shaken the entire industry, has shaken the stock markets, and all analysts are wondering as to what could be the real reason behind such a move." Under Tata's two decade reign the conglomerate expanded internationally. In Britain, it bought Tata Steel and two car manufacturers. But the commodities climate has since changed. Perhaps the board wants an old hand, to come up with new tricks.