When Tata Steel announced its £4.3 billion (Rs 36,421 crore) takeover of Anglo-Dutch steel giant Corus, not many people read the footnote to India Inc’s largest acquisition abroad. Tata Steel, synonymous with Indian industry, will by 2008 be run by foreigners. That’s because the takeover, while keeping Ratan Tata in the chairman’s seat, will have senior Corus executives handling most key functions.
Tata Steel’s MD B. Muthuraman is set to retire by October 2008, and is likely to be replaced by present Corus CEO Phillipe Varin, who is being made a director from January 2007. He will become deputy MD in January 2008.
Accompanying Ratan Tata on the Tata Steel board will be current non-executive chairman of Corus James Leng, who will become non-executive deputy chairman. Corus executive director (finance) David Lloyd will also attend Tata Steel board meetings. Corus’ non-executive deputy chairman Jacques Schraven and independent director Anthony Hayward will be inducted on the Tata Steel board as additional directors.
These developments are in keeping with the trend in the Tata Group, where Raymond Bickson of Hawaii heads Indian Hotels, Darryl Green of the US heads Tata Teleservices and former Nestle honcho Alan Rosling is on the board of Tata Sons.