MUMBAI: (Reuters) RatanTata is "most likely" to step down as chairman of theTataTrusts, which control a 66 percent stake in the $100 billionTata conglomerate's holding companyTataSons, said a Times of India report citingTata's long-time confidant R K Krishna Kumar.
The Trusts have asked an external consultant to advise them on the selection process, which could be completed by the middle of next year, said Krishna Kumar according to the report, adding that the next chairman of the Trusts will be an Indian, but not necessarily a member of theTata family.
The role of the Trusts has been at the center of the ongoing feud betweenTataandTataSons' ousted Chairman Cyrus Mistry.
TataTrusts andTataSons were not immediately reachable for comment on the Times of India report.
"The next chairman has to be someone who has the right vision and be in complete alignment with the will of theTataGroup founders," said Krishna Kumar, a group veteran and a trustee of theTataTrusts, according to the report.
He added thatTata's successor at theTataTrusts could be an external person even though the current trustees are free to suggest potential candidates, the report said.
In public letters to group company shareholders, Mistry has said the trustees abused their position by calling for information and seeking discussions on matters they considered material and dictatingTataSons' decisions using veto right of their nominee directors.
TataSons has rejected those claims, and has blamed Mistry for governance lapses.