RK Krishnakumar, one of five selected members to a special committee created to interview and select the successor to Ratan Tata of the Tata Sons Company, a telecom to tea conglomerate, announced that a successor will be announced before the end of this year. The Tata Sons Holding Company has shareholdings across the many group companies is worth $72 billion.
The Tata Sons Holding Company set up a committee back in June 2010 with the straight forward goal of finding a successor for Ratan Tata. The special committee was given a full year to select a candidate, but failed to meet the June deadline. As a result, an extension was granted, with the desire to find the right candidate that can maintain the $72 billion value while also preserving the direction of the company and its values.
So far the committee has interview fourteen different candidates, but only Noel Tata, managing director of Tata International and Ratan Tata‘s step brother’s name has been disclosed. The other candidates are said to have been selected from within and outside the company, with Ratan suggesting that perhaps Noel Tata is not yet ready for the job.
There are hopes that the committee to replace Ratan Tata will find a successor by December, which would give the new hire a year worth of direct contact and training with Ratan, whose term expires in December of 2012. A point of interest however is that Ratan has stated he desires the successor spend two years of training and side by side work before taking over, but with the committee already in delay with making a decision, that would not be possible as he steps down at the end of 2012. There are some hints that Ratan Tata may be placed on as a chairman for an additional year to provide this opportunity.
The Tata Sons and the other Tata Companies now make up a large complex group of businesses, making the job tricky for any new successor. Some talks suggest the groups may be reformatted to to make the transition easier. Part of this group that may be reformatted could include Tata Motors or Tata Steel.