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Cyrus Mistry Resigns From All Tata Group Companies Amid Bitter Power Battle

NEW DELHI:  Cyrus Mistry, the ousted chairman of Tata Sons, has resigned from all Tata Group companies at the start of a week when four of the firms were to vote on removing him as director in extraordinary general meetings or EGMs. “It is time to shift gears, up the momentum and be more incisive in securing the best interests of the Tata group,” Mr Mistry said in a letter to the Board of Tata Sons and shareholders today and later, in a video statement. Stating that the best interests of everyone would be “better served by moving away from the forum of extraordinary general meetings”, he said: “It is with this thought in mind that I have decided to shift this campaign to a larger platform, one where the rule of law and equity is upheld.” He added that he had not thought that he would need to seek an “external forum” to adjudicate issues that should “never have arisen in the first place.” Calling Mr Mistry’s resignation a “deliberate strategy”, Tata Sons, in a statement, reiterated that he was making “baseless, unsubstantiated and malicious allegations using selective disclosures of information”. Exactly a week ago, Mr Mistry was ousted as a director of Tata Industries in a vote at an extraordinary general meeting called specifically to remove him. A day later, he was removed as director of Tata Group’s crown jewel, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). More such meetings were called. Mr Mistry was sacked as Tata sons chairman in October, which set off a bitter boardroom battle within the $100 billion conglomerate. Ratan Tata, appointed interim chairman, appealed to shareholders to help remove Mr Mistry from various boards, telling them in a letter that his continued presence in boards of Tata firms is a serious “disruptive influence” and can make the companies “dysfunctional”. The letter asked shareholders to support Tata Sons’ resolution, as the holding company of the group, to remove Mr Mistry as director and said that Mr Mistry was removed as chairman of the group as the Tata Sons’ board lost confidence in him. “Deliberated action” was taken to remove Mr Mistry, Mr Tata said, after the relationship with him steadily deteriorated and “several attempts to remediate went unheeded”.  Mr Tata also told shareholders that Mr Mistry was appointed director of various Tata group companies only as chairman of Tata Sons.

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