Just four years after stepping down as chairman of Tata Sons, one of India’s biggest conglomerates, Ratan Tata is back at the group’s helm—at least for now.
On Oct.24, the Tata Sons board announced that it was replacing current chairman, Cyrus Pallonji Mistry. The decision was taken at a board meeting held in Mumbai. The 78-year-old Tata was named interim chairman. The board has now appointed a five-member selection committee, which includes Tata, to choose the next chairman. “The committee has been mandated to complete the selection process in four months,” a Tata Sons statement said.
The surprise move comes at a time when the salt-to-steel conglomerate is betting on new technologies and expanding its digital presence. Mistry was spearheading these initiatives and had also laid out an action plan for the group’s digital efforts. The 48-year-old was appointed Tata Sons’ chairman in December 2012. A director on the company’s board since 2006, he was earlier the managing director of construction major Shapoorji Pallonji Group.
After stepping down as chairman, Tata has been an active investor in India’s startup industry with investments in some 30 companies. He is also reportedly planning to set up a venture capital fund.