Tata-Mistry spat: Cyrus says Tata group nobody's fiefdom, Tatas say Mistry made it his
Tata group belongs to all the stakeholders, including each and every shareholders, Mistry said.
Further advancing the war of words between Ratan Tata and Cyrus Mistry, both the camps made allegations and counter allegations days ahead of the extraordinary general meetings of six major Tata firms, including Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Tata Motors.
Days before the Tata group firms are to discuss a resolution seeking Mistry's removal as director at the EGMs, Mistry said the "governance of Tata Trusts has to become more accountable, transparent" and "In the absence of an appropriate governance structure and ethical behaviour of trustees, it would become an inherent obligation of the government to remedy and repair breakdown in the governance of such trusts."
The governance charter across the Tata Group, including the holding and operating companies requires repair to conform to company law and global best pratices such as protection of interests of all stakeholders, including minority shareholder, Mistry said.
Asking the shareholders of the companies to vote against the resolution to oust him and Nusli Wadia, Mistry said, "The Tata Group is no one's personal fiefdom. It does not belong to any individual, not to the trustees of Tata Trusts, not to the Tata Sons directors, and not to the directors of the operating companies."
It belongs to all the stakeholders, including each and every shareholders, he added. It is critical that serious decisions of severe magnitude and consequence are not taken whimsically, without much thought, or for unstated collateral objectives, Mistry said.
In its report Times of India quoted a statement from Tata sons countering the allegations saying it was Mistry who "concentrated all power and authority only in his own hands as chairman of the major Tata companies" and that it was Mistry who tried made the company into his "personal fiefdom".
According to the company, his chairmanship in other Tata group companies was only a "corollary" to his position in Tata Sons. "Therefore, when he was removed as the chairman of Tata Sons, any other person would have stepped down from the chairmanship of Tata operating companies because he no longer enjoyed the support of the principal shareholder," the ToI report said citing a Tata Sons' statement.
Earlier, Tata Sons in a nine-page letter had accused Mistry of trying to take control of one of Tata's units and creating distance between the promoter, Tata Sons, and its group companies. It also blamed him for causing "enormous damage and financial loss to shareholders running into tens of thousands of crores."
In its report Firstpost quoted a reply from Mistrys office saying, “To allege ‘ulterior motive’ of taking over control of companies, demonstrated true independence is not there in keeping with Tata governance standards... The Tata Sons statement reflects desperation."