Enormous responsibility thrust on me: Mistry

Cyrus Mistry, the 43-yr-old son of construction tycoon Pallonji Mistry, will succeed Ratan Tata as chairman

Newly-appointed Tata Sons deputy chairman Cyrus P Mistry, who will succeed chairman Ratan Tata on his retirement next year, said yesterday that he feels "deeply honoured".

Expressing his gratitude to the selection committee and board of directors, Mistry said, "I feel deeply honoured by this appointment. I am aware that an enormous responsibility, with a great legacy, has been entrusted to me."

The new boss: Cyrus Mistry said he felt honoured with the new post
and was looking forward to new challenges

He said he "looked forward to (Ratan) Tata's guidance in the year ahead in meeting the expectations of the Tata Group. I take this responsibility very seriously and in keeping with the values and ethics of the Tata Group," Mistry said.

He also committed himself to legally dissociate himself from the management of his family businesses to avoid any issue of conflict of interest with his new assignment.

Mistry (43), is the younger son of construction tycoon Pallonji Mistry and belongs to a family which is one of the largest shareholders in the $71 billion Tata Group.

The 43-year-old has been selected following a long recruitment process led by a Tata selection committee.

Ratan Tata said, "The appointment of Cyrus P Mistry as deputy chairman of Tata Sons is a good and far-sighted choice. He has been on the board of Tata Sons since August 2006 and I have been impressed with the quality and calibre of his participation, his astute observations and his humility. He is intelligent and qualified to take on the responsibility being offered and I will be committed to working with him over the next year to give him the exposure, the involvement and the operating experience to equip him to undertake the full responsibility of the group on my retirement."

Pramod Gubbi, vice-president with Mumbai brokerage Ambit Capital, said the group would "miss the vision and direction which Ratan Tata has provided".

Major deals like the acquisition of Corus and Jaguar-Land Rover would not have happened without him, he added.

"Operationally there would be no change (for the group), as several experienced professionals are in the top management for group companies" said Gubbi.

Mahantesh Sabarad, car analyst with Fortune Equity Brokers, said: "A younger man could bring dynamism, fresh ideas and a lot of hope. This is exactly what a younger Ratan Tata brought to the group, when he took charge."

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