Natarajan Chandrasekaran, the CEO and Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services, has been named the new Chairman of Tata Sons, roughly three months after the former Chairman Cyrus Mistry was unceremoniously ousted.
A selection panel unanimously recommended Chandrasekaran as chairman, a statement from Tata Sons said. "Chandrasekar has displayed exemplary leadership as TCS CEO and MD."
The new chairman will take charge from February 21.
The appointment achieves some finality to the showdown between erstwhile chair Mistry and Chairman-Emeritus Ratan Tata, who the former accused of trying to act as de-facto chairman.
Widely considered as the frontrunner, Chandrasekaran had earlier in the day evaded any comment on the matter, at the press conference following TCS' quarterly earnings announcement.
Noel Tata and Ajay Piramal were also believed to be contenders for the position.
Rajesh Gopinathan, currently the CFO and Vice President at TCS, is likely to take the position of CEO after Chandrasekaran's move.
The USD 103-billion conglomerate had earlier set a February deadline to finalise a Chairman for holding company Tata Sons.
People familiar with the matter said the five-member selection committee comprising interim Chairman Ratan Tata, TVS Group Chairman Venu Srinivasan, Bain Capital’s Amit Chandra, Ronen Sen and Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, had held several meetings in recent weeks to zero in on a new pick.
Some industry experts such as former Infosys executive Mohandas Pai have argued that Tata Sons needed an outsider as Chairman, alluding to the perception of some stress at key group companies. Most of the Tata group companies need a new direction, he said.
Pai had also said he would be disappointed if TCS Chief Executive N Chandrasekaran is appointed Tata Sons Chairman as he firmly believes there is need he stays at the helm of TCS in the current environment.
However, Ajay Srivastava of Dimensions said the decision would be huge positive for Tata shares, given the fresh perspective that Chandrasekaran will likely bring in as group chairman.