Ratan Tata to crown one of these as his heir?
- Indra Nooyi of Pepsi, Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth and TCS CEO N Chandrasekaran in the race
- Speth and Chandrasekaran were elevated to the Tata board after Cyrus Mistry was sacked
Speculation is rife and corporate circles are abuzz with conversations about who will wear the crown at the Tata group, one of India's oldest and most recognised corporate behemoth.
Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth and TCS CEO & MD N Chandrasekaran are clearly in the race as Tata Sons, the promoter of major operating Tata companies, appointed both of them as additional directors on the board right after they fired ex-chairman Cyrus Mistry.
Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi, the current chairperson and chief executive officer of PepsiCo, the second-largest food and beverage business in the world by net revenue, is another name that is being bandied about. She has consistently ranked among the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. She is the only Indian-origin woman in Fortune’s 51 Most Powerful Women list that is topped by Mary Barra, CEO and chairman of General Motors. Nooyi was ranked second on the list.
"Dr Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, and N Chandrasekaran, CEO & Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), have been appointed as Additional Directors on the Tata Sons Board," the company said in a statement.
Commenting on their appointment, Ratan Tata who took over as the interim chairman, said: "This is in recognition of their exemplary leadership in their companies."
With the appointments of Speth and Chandrashekharan, Tata Son's board has expanded to 12 members now.
Both TCS and JLR, are two crown jewels of Tata's empire and have been largely responsible for generating profits for the conglomerate. Acoording to a report in the Times of India , under Speth's leadership starting February 2010, JLR's revenues soared more than three times to 22.2 billion pounds in fiscal 2016 from 6.5 billion pounds in fiscal 2010, while net profit surged to 1.3 billion pounds from 23 million pounds. Speth, a BMW and Ford veteran, is the highest paid Tata Group CEO with an annual package of 4.7 million pounds.
Under Chandrasekaran's leadership, TCS's net sales too jumped more than three times to Rs1.09 lakh crore by fiscal 2016 from Rs 30,029 crore in fiscal 2010. He was elevated as TCS MD in October 2009. At 46, he was one of the youngest Tata Group CEOs. During his tenure the software major's profit also jumped more than three times to Rs 24,375 crore from Rs 7,093 crore, said the report.
Image courtesy Guruprasath R