Reacting to the string of allegations made by ousted Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry, Tata Sons hit back in 700 words letter saying Mistry was party to business decisions taken by the conglomerate for over a decade while making it amply clear that the $103 billion behemoth considers it beneath its dignity to engage in a public spat.
Underlining that Mistry had been on the board since 2006 and deputy chairman for a year till he formally replaced Ratan Tata in end-December 2012, it said, "It is unfortunate that it is only on his removal" that "malicious allegations" and "unsubstantiated claims" were being made about "business decisions that the former chairman was party to for over a decade in different capacities".
The Tata sons issued a thinly veiled threat that it was prepared to abandon strategic restraint and strike back at a time and place of its choosing: "The record, as and when made public, will prove things to the contrary."
According to a Times of India report, insiders of Tata sons revealed that there were issues of "under-performance, handling of certain delicate situations, clash of cultures, erosion of values, reversal of policies and practices" - all of which we had been hearing about for months, and wrote about immediately after the fateful board meeting of October 24.
The decision to remove Cyrus Mistry was driven by the Trusts, which handily outgun the 18.5 per cent held by his father Pallonji Mistry, a construction tycoon, TOI quoted industry insiders as saying.
Responding to claims made by Mistry in a 2,100-word mail, Tata Sons said in a 700-word statement on Thursday, “The record, as and when made public, will prove things to the contrary”.
The statement added that Mistry had lost the board's confidence due to several factors and called the leak of ‘confidential’ e-mail a "matter of regret".
“It is unfortunate that it is only on his removal" that "malicious allegations" and "unsubstantiated claims" were being made about "business decisions that the former chairman was party to for over a decade in different capacities,” said the statement while pointing that Mistry had been on the board since 2006.
The report also quoted says that Mistry " failed to keep the trust of the Trusts".
The company also rejected Mistry’s claim of being reduced to the “position of a lame-duck chairman” because of his predecessor’s interference, changes in the holding company’s articles of association, and the creation of “alternative power centres”.
Tata Sons, in its statement, claimed that Mistry had been fully empowered and enjoyed complete autonomy to manage the group.