The contours of Cyrus Mistry’s A-team that will help him drive the fortunes of the $100 billion group Tata Group became clear on Tuesday with the group announcing the formation of a Group Executive Council (GEC) and the appointment of N. S. Rajan, from Ernst & Young, as group head for human resources.

Mukund Govind Rajan, Brand Custodian and Chief Ethics Officer and Madhu Kannan, Group Head, Business Development will, along with Mr. Rajan, be the initial members of the powerful GEC which will provide strategic and operational support to Chairman Cyrus Mistry. The GEC will replace the Group Corporate Centre and the Group Executive Office, both creations of Ratan Tata. Mr. Rajan, currently Partner and Global Leader-People & Organization, Ernst & Young, will be joining Tata Sons on May 9.

Asked about other members of the GEC, a Tata Sons spokesperson said that there could be one or more executives joining to cover the finance, strategy and M&A functions.

“How many more depends on whether we find a single person with expertise in all these areas or if we need different people,” the spokesperson said.

“The mandate of the GEC is to own and drive the delivery of the core purpose of Tata Sons, which is long-term value creation for all stakeholders……. The GEC will work closely with and partner the boards, CEOs and senior management of the various Tata companies,” Tata Sons said a statement. Members of the GEC will be assigned responsibilities by the chairman of Tata Sons, lead various strategic functions besides also serving as nominees of Tata Sons on the Boards of Tata companies, the statement added.

The development comes as key team members of the earlier Chairman, Ratan Tata, such as N. A. Soonawala, Arun Gandhi and Kishore Chaukar have retired. R. Gopalakrishnan (67), R. K. Krishnakumar (74), Ishaat Hussain (65) and Farrokh Kavarana (69) are non-executive directors in Tata Sons.

“The formation of the GEC is a very positive and welcome development. There has to be good representation of Tata Sons on boards of group companies. It will add value to Tata companies and to India. GEC is an extremely important step and this is the way to bring in people with new ideas. I don’t find any negative connotation. This is an evolution. Cyrus is a man who will have an impact and imprint,” said Shailesh Haribhakti, managing partner, Haribhakti & Co.

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