Tata trusts are opting for experts on the board of Tata Sons, the promoter of major operating companies of the over $100 billion salt-to-software conglomerate Tata group.
The latest appointment of Nitin Nohria, the Dean of Harvard Business School, as a Non-Executive Director on the board of Tata Sons is a reflection of such a thinking in the group.
When contacted, a Tata Sons spokesperson said: "The Tata trusts can nominate one-third of the directors of Tata Sons. Nitin Nohria and Vijay Singh are currently the nominees of the Tata trusts on the Tata Sons Board."
Tata Sons had a few months back inducted former bureaucrat Singh on its board.
At present the Board has six Directors - Cyrus P Mistry, Ishaat Hussain, R Gopalakrishnan, F K Kavarana, Vijay Singh and Nitin Nohria. The Board can have up to 15 directors, the spokesperson added.
In the past, the Tata trusts had nominated Ratan Tata, NA Soonawala, and R K Krishna Kumar as their nominees, all of whom have now retired from the Board.
When asked about the roles played by the nominees of the Tata trusts, the spokesperson said: "In keeping with the share-holding of the Trusts in Tata Sons, the nominees of the Tata trusts play their rightful role in the governance of the company, and discharge their fiduciary responsibilities as Directors."
The Tata trusts, instituted by members of Tata family, control 66 per cent of the shares of Tata Sons.