Tata Sons announced induction of two independent directors, Ronen Sen and Farida Khambata, on its board today. While Sen is former ambassador of India to the US, Khambata is a global strategist at the US based alternate asset management firm Cartica.
Tata Sons is the holding company for Tata Group and its board plays a crucial role in deciding the strategic direction for group companies. Tata Trusts, the majority owner of Tata Sons, had last year appointed former defence secretary Vjay Singh and Harvard Business School dean Nitin Nohria as their nominee directors on the board of Tata Sons in non executive roles.
Now the board which includes group chairman Cyrus Mistry besides non executive directors R Gopalakrishnan and Ishaat Hussain has appointed two independent directors. With this Tata Sons board has expanded to 7 members out of which 6 are currently in non executive roles.
“Tata Sons board has now turned into largely an advisory institution with having just one executive member in the form of chairman,” said a senior executive with a management consultancy firm who did not wish to be identified. “This clearly shows a different approach taken by Mistry who has created group executive council below the board to implement boards’ strategic decisions,” he says.
Under previous chairman Ratan Tata, the board members played active role by being a part of executive council below the board and also being on the board of different group companies. Apart from Mistry the other two members from the earlier board are R Gopalakrishnan and Ishaat Hussain who are playing the role of non-executive directors after turning 65. Both of them will retire after turning 70. Earlier this week Ishaat Hussain resigned from the board of group company Titan.