Noel Tata may be new chief of Tata Trusts

Noel Tata (in pic), chairman of Trent and managing director of Tata International, may be roped in to head Tata Trusts, which controls 66 per cent of Tata Sons, the holding company of the conglomerate.

Noel Tata, the half-brother of Ratan Tata, is successfully driving the Tata group’s retail arm, Trent, which operates stores under the brands Westside, Zudio, Star Bazaar, Landmark and Zara. The soft-spoken Noel is likely to be brought in to head the Tata Trusts as part of restructuring the company’s composition.

Tata Sons and Tata Trusts had recently seen quite a few exits, including Harvard Business School’s India-born dean Nitin Nohria, who stepped down from the board of directors of Tata Sons. Bain Capital managing director Amit Chandra also stepped down from the boards of Tata Trusts and Tata Sons.

According to Tata Sons’ articles of association (AoA), it can have as many as 12 directors and Tata Trusts can nominate one-third of the directors to the company’s board.
Since 2011, Noel’s name has been in the fray for the corner office job in Bombay House, the Mumbai headquarters of the $103 billion salt-to-software group.

During his 12 years in Trent, Noel pioneered the launch of the first private label in India. He also made Trent a profitable retailer and tied up with Tesco and despite volatile business environment, did not close down a single outlet. Apart from fresh inductions, Tata Trusts may also decide on a vice-chairman soon.