* Tata Steel latest Tata company to remove Mistry
* Follows his ouster from Tata Sons in boardroom coup
* Mistry, Tata Sons blame each other for problems at group
* EGM on Dec. 21 to remove Mistry as Tata Steel director
(Adds details from source, background)
By Promit Mukherjee
MUMBAI, Nov 25 India's Tata Steel said
it removed Cyrus Mistry as chairman at a special board meeting
on Friday, the third Tata group company to depose him since his
ouster as head of the conglomerate's holding company.
Mistry was ousted as chairman of holding company Tata Sons
in a boardroom coup in October after the company criticised his
Since then both Mistry and Tata Sons have been involved in a
war of words blaming each party for problems in the $100-billion
salt-to-software Tata conglomerate.
The Tata Steel board, in a statement, also said on Friday
that it would hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on
Dec. 21 to remove Mistry and independent director Nusli Wadia as
directors on the board.
Mistry was removed earlier this month as chairman of Tata
Global Beverages, which co-owns and runs Starbucks
stores across India, and as chairman of Tata
Consultancy Services, India's biggest software company
and a cash cow of the group.
A source close to Mistry said in a statement that removing
him as chairman of Tata Steel was a "new low" in the corporate
governance standards of the Tata group and said representatives
of Tata Sons were behind the decision.
O P Bhatt, independent director on the board of Tata Steel
and former head of State Bank of India, has been
elected as chairman of the board of Tata Steel until the outcome
of the EGM, the company said.
"The board appointed the independent director as the
chairman keeping in mind principles of good corporate
governance," it said.
Tata Consultancy Services, as well as Tata Motors,
which owns the Jaguar Land Rover brand, and Indian Hotels Co Ltd
, which runs the Taj group of hotels, have also called
for EGMs in December to remove Mistry as directors of their
Tata Sons had criticised Mistry's performance and accused
him of being responsible for rising expenses and impairment
provisions and falling dividends.
Mistry sought to defend his record at Tata Sons in a
statement on Nov. 15 and said allegations that he oversaw rising
expenses and impairment provisions were "another brazen attempt
to mislead the public and shareholders."
(Reporting by Promit Mukherjee; Editing by Susan Fenton)