MUMBAI/DELHI (Reuters) - Indian salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Sons has ousted Cyrus Mistry as chairman and restored Ratan Tata to the position while it seeks a permanent replacement.
The Tata Sons board did not give any reasons for its decision, though Mistry, 48, had been attempting to shake up the $100 billion company by changing the management structure to bring in new faces at senior levels.
Tata Sons is a large shareholder in the listed Tata Group companies in a business empire that ranges from Jaguar Land Rover and steel mills to aviation and salt pans.
Mistry replaced company patriarch Ratan Tata in December 2012, having been named as heir apparent the previous year after a 15-month search for a successor.
Mistry has been battling problems on a number of fronts in recent months, including a costly settlement with Japanese telecoms operator NTT Docomo and the sale of Tata Steel's loss-making business in Britain.
His departure, however, came as a surprise to many analysts and investors, though it has moved to quell concerns with Ratan Tata's appointment as interim chairman.
"The impact will be a little softer with Ratan Tata taking over," Gaurang Shah, an analyst at Geojit BNP Paribas, said in a television interview with BTVi.
The company's brief press release said that the board had set up a selection committee to choose a new chairman within the next four months. The committee comprises Ratan Tata, Venu Srinivasan, Amit Chandra, Ronen Sen and Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya.
(Additional reporting by Suvashree Choudhury, Abhirup Roy and Manoj Rawal in Mumbai; Editing by David Goodman)