NEW DELHI, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Ousted Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry made a final appeal to shareholders of Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) before they cast their vote on his removal as director at an extraordinary general meeting later on Tuesday.
In a bitter boardroom coup in October, Mistry was ousted as the chairman of Tata Sons, the holding firm for the $100 billion steel-to-software conglomerate, and group patriarch Ratan Tata returned to the helm temporarily. A public power struggle has since ensued between the two sides.
Mistry, however, still sits on the boards of several group companies, including Tata Motors, Tata Steel and crown jewel TCS, which is 73 percent owned by Tata Sons and contributes the bulk of the group’s revenue and profit.
Tata Sons has called shareholder meetings at these companies over the next few days to vote on the removal of Mistry as director, starting with TCS, India’s biggest technology services firm by sales.
“The fight is a matter of principle rather than facing the foregone outcome (of this meeting),” Mistry said in a note, indicating that Tata Sons’ majority shareholding in TCS means he will be removed as director.
“The very future of TCS hinges on good governance and ethical practices. In the past several weeks, we have seen good governance being thrown to the wind in every sense of the term, replaced by whims, fancies and personal agenda.”
Since his ouster, Mistry has attacked Tata’s corporate governance standards several times, saying that his efforts to establish stronger guidelines contributed to his removal.
“Whatever be the decibel level of the voice that would drown your vote, I call on you to vote with your conscience and send a signal that catalyses a larger discussion on governance reforms,” Mistry said.
Indian Hotels Co Ltd, Tata Steel and Tata Motors will hold their shareholder meetings next week. (Reporting by Aditi Shah; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)