Three months after firing its former chairman Cyrus Mistry, Tata Group has named veteran insider Natarajan Chandrasekaran as the new chairman of the holding company. The $100 billion conglomerate founded 150 years back with businesses ranging from salt to software will take over as the executive chairman from February 21, said Tata Sons in a statement, after the selection committee appointed by its board unanimously recommended the group veteran for the job.
Chandrasekaran aged 53, who is currently the MD & CEO of Tata Consultancy Services, the most valuable company in the group, will be the first non-Parsi chairman of Tata Sons. He takes over the group at a crucial time even as they are embroiled in a fierce battle with former chairman Cyrus Mistry whose family is also the single largest non-promoter shareholder in the holding company.
“Mr. Chandrasekaran has demonstrated exemplary leadership as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services. We believe he will now inspire the entire Tata group to realise its potential acting as leaders in their respective businesses, always in keeping with our value system and ethics and adhering with the practices of the Tata group which have stood it in good stead,” Tata Sons said in the statement.
Under his leadership, TCS has generated consolidated revenues of US $16.5 billion in 2015-16. The country’s largest outsourcer contributes nearly 80% of the group’s overall profit.
Chandra was appointed as a Director on the board of Tata Sons since October 25, 2016. He was also appointed as a Director on the board of India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India in 2016.
Rajesh Gopinathan, the current chief financial officer of TCS will take over from Chandrasekaran as the next chief executive officer and managing director.
A lifer at TCS, Chandra, as he is fondly addressed by colleagues, joined the company in 1987 after completing Masters in Computer Applications from Regional Engineering College, Trichy, Tamil Nadu.
Beyond the office, Chandra is an avid photographer, and a passionate long-distance runner who has completed several marathons around the world, mentions a bio on the company website.