Cyrus Mistry, who is locked in combat with the Tatas, may have been ousted from the board of TCS, but he can draw some solace from the vote at the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of the IT major held on Tuesday.
Nearly 78 per cent of retail shareholders and 42 per cent of public institutional investors voted against Mistry’s removal. In a statement on Wednesday, Mistry said the vote was a “strong signal” from minority shareholders about the need for governance reform at the Tata Group.
“I will continue to strive... to be (a) voice for change in the Tata Group, its governance and protection of stakeholders’ rights,” the statement said. The TCS outcome, Mistry added, had strengthened his “resolve to save the heritage of the Tata Group.” He would continue to work on the “crying need for governance reform.” Mistry’s ouster from the TCS board was a certainty, given that Tata Sons owns a 73 per cent stake, but the Tatas do not own more than 40 per cent stake in the other Group companies. If retail and institutional investors in these companies vote similarly, Mistry could retain his position on the boards of some of the companies where the Tatas don’t own majority shares.
In Tata Steel, for example, the promoter group holds only 31 per cent. If the majority of retail investors and public shareholders vote in Mistry’s favour, the outcome could be different from what TCS saw.