In his last meeting with Tata Steel shareholders as chairman of Tata Sons, Ratan Tata said that his successor, Cyrus Mistry, had not been appointed for caste or family reasons.
“Mistry was selected by a committee and not due to family relations or him being a Parsi,” Tata said. “We interviewed outside and internal people so it was not a family or ethnic affair.”
Addressing the annual general meeting of Tata Steel, he said the company had done “everything possible” to revive the fortunes of its struggling European subsidiary. “We have done everything short of closing down units which many companies are doing. However, we cannot do anything about falling demand,” he said.
Tata Steel had reported an 89% drop in consolidated net profit in the first quarter, mainly on account of weak demand in Europe.
“There will need to be major move on the part of Tata Steel to reduce costs,” he said, adding that the company needed shareholders to “support us through these times.” “There is an economic crisis in Europe. It is having an impact on demand, price of inputs, currencies. Very abnormal times,” he said.