Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Tata Sons Ltd. named Cyrus P. Mistry, the son of its biggest shareholder, as successor to Chairman Ratan Tata, ending more than a year of speculation over who would run India’s biggest business group.
Mistry, 43, who will assume the role of deputy chairman immediately, will take over as head of the group in December 2012, according to an e-mailed statement from the company today. Tata in August 2010 set up a five-member panel to find a successor to Ratan whose acquisitions of Jaguar Land Rover and Tetley Group Plc charted India’s emergence as a global economic power.
“I have been impressed with the quality and caliber of his participation, his astute observations and his humility,” Ratan Tata said in the statement. “I will be committed to working with him over the next year to give him the exposure, the involvement and the operating experience to equip him to undertake the full responsibility of the group on my retirement.”
The 72-year-old Ratan, who built the group into India’s biggest with revenue of more than $70 billion, will retire after two decades running the Mumbai-based company. Mistry will control a group whose companies make cars from the $72,500 Jaguar XJ to the $2,500 Nano, produce steel and grow tea served at the Tata-owned Boston Ritz Carlton. Tata accounts for almost 7 percent of India’s gross domestic product.
“Cyrus is sort of an enigma,” said U.R. Bhat, managing director of Dalton Capital Advisors India Pvt. in Mumbai. “He has a phenomenally big boot to fill.”
--With assistance from Arijit Ghosh in Mumbai. Editors: Arijit Ghosh, David Merritt
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