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Friday, February 07, 2014

By Kamal Swami

Cyrus Mistry to head the interim panel for appointing new M.D. in Tata Motors

Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry will head a Corporate Steering Committee (CSC) which will oversee strategy and "key aspects" of operations at Tata Motors, the company said in a statement on Thursday evening. The move follows the sudden demise of the company's managing director Karl Slym, who jumped to his death from a Thailand hotel. The CSC, chaired by Mistry, comprises the current members of the company's executive committee, consisting of officials in charge of the company's units and central functions such as finance and HR. The members of the executive committee are: Ravindra Pisharody, Satish B Borwankar, C Ramakrishnan, TA Leverton, Ranjit Yadav, Mamillapalle Venkatram, Ankush Arora and Rajesh Bagga. 
The decision by Mistry, who is the con-executive chairman of Tata motors, to personally lead the committee, appears intended to instill confidence among employees. "It is to ensure continuity of leadership and in complete alignment of the Tata MotorsBSE 0.35 % board to execute the strategy of the company," a person close to the company said. "The Board of Tata Motors has constituted a corporate steering committee to oversee strategy execution and key aspects of operations; the corporate steering committee will be chaired by me, and will include the current executive committee members. The board expects to appoint a managing director in due course," Mistry was quoted as saying in the statement. 
The company has plans to launch 8-10 new major products till 2020. Tata Motors' India operations are struggling. While it made a profit of Rs 867 crore in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 it registered a loss of Rs 803 crore in quarter ending September 2013. The only silver lining for the Indian automobile firm has been the strong performance of JLR and the dividends accruing from the British firm. "We will ensure that the company vigorously pursues and delivers on the strategy, which Karl BSE 0.00 % was executing," the chairman of Tata Motors said. 
In the last decade, Ratan Tata, now chairman emeritus of the company, spent significant time at Tata Motors. Till the board finds a replacement to Slym, Mistry's role at Tata Motors is likely to be keenly watched. "As the company looks ahead, it is gratifying to note that several new product launches have taken place recently and a robust pipeline is being showcased at this year's Auto Expo. I am confident that Tata Motors will sustain its strong leadership in the Indian Automobile industry." 

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