Tata Steel appoints Noel Tata as vice chairman – Times of India


MUMBAI: Noel Tata, the half-brother of Tata Group patriarch Ratan Tata, has been named vice-chairman of Tata Steel, his first such role in a leading entity of the 154-year-old, $109-billion conglomerate.
The development indicates the growing influence of Noel, 65, within the Tata system. He is a trustee of Tata Trusts, which owns two-thirds of Tata Sons, the holding company of the salt-to-software behemoth.
Tata Steel is the first Tata entity where Noel and Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran are on the same board. Chandrasekaran was recently reappointed as chairman of Tata Sons for another five years.
The developments suggest that while a professional will continue to manage the affairs of the conglomerate, a Tata family member will represent Trusts’ interest on the boards of Tata entities. It needs to be seen whether Noel will be inducted into the boards of other leading Tata entities including flagship Tata Motors and TCS.
Tata Steel has revived the vice chairman’s position after a gap of about eight years with Noel’s appointment. B Muthuraman, former Tata Steel veteran, held this title for five years from 2009 till 2014.
Tata Steel said based on the recommendations of the nomination and remuneration committee, the board has considered and unanimously approved the appointment of Noel as an additional director (non-executive, non-independent). Further, Noel has been designated as the vice-chairman of the board.
Besides Tata Steel, Noel, known for his reclusive nature, is on the boards of Tata International, Trent, Voltas, Tata Investment Corporation (he is chairman of the four companies) and Titan Company (where he is the vice-chairman).
Tata Steel said there are no inter-se relations between Noel and the other members of the board. With Noel’s appointment, the board strength has increased to 11.
His association with Trent, the retail company created by his mother Simone Tata in the nineties after selling off the cosmetics business, Lakme, to Hindustan Unilever has been the strongest. From a single store in 1998, Trent, now operates more than 330 outlets across retail formats in the country, Tata Steel said.
Tata Steel, established in 1907 as Asia’s first integrated private sector steel company, is the third largest Tata entity in terms of revenue ($21 billion) after TCS ($ 22 billion) and Tata Motors ($34 billion). However, it is likely that the company will emerge as the most profitable player this fiscal benefiting from a rally in commodity prices. Currently, TCS is the most profitable Tata entity.


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