Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata group, has formed a selection committee to decide on a suitable successor for Ratan N. Tata, Chairman, who is due to retire at the end of December2012 at age 75.
A statement from the Tatas said the board of Tata Sons, in accordance with its Articles of Association, has formed a Selection Committee, comprising five members including an external member, to take a decision on Mr. Tata's successor.
The committee has commenced its work and is in the process of formulating criteria for identifying the most suitable candidate taking into account the global nature and complexity of the group's business at the present time. The group would require someone with experience and exposure to direct its growth amidst the challenges of the global economy. The selection process for a prospective candidate would consider suitable persons from within the Tata companies, other professionals in India as well as persons overseas with global experience. It is expected that the final selection would be made in adequate time to effect a smooth transition and change of leadership before Mr. Tata's retirement at the end of December 2012.
The move comes within days of elevation of Noel Tata, Mr. Ratan Tata's half-brother, as head of the $72 billion group's international operations, lending credence to speculation that he would be anointed the successor. Mr. Noel, 53, is also the son-in-law of Pallonji Mistry, who, according to the U.S. business magazine Forbes, has over 18 per cent stake in Tata Sons.