Jaguar Land Rover CEO, Ralf Speth, is among those being considered to take up the role of chairman at Tata Group. The Indian conglomerate is examining at least one other internal candidate to replace its former chairman Cyrus Mistry, who was ousted from the post on Monday (24 October).
Speth, who took over the lead role at JLR in February 2010, has previously worked with BMW, Linde and Ford's Premier Automotive Group.
Unnamed sources cited by NDTV said that another candidate being considered for the lead role was N. Chandrasekaran, CEO at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). Another source said that Noel Tata, chairman at Trent, the retail arm of Tata Group, is also being considered for the post. He is a member of the founding family and the brother-in-law of the ousted chairman.
The speculations are being made as both Speth and Chandrasekaran were appointed on Tuesday to the Tata Sons board, the holding company behind Tata Group. In a statement, interim chairman Ratan Tata had said that their induction was in recognition "for their exemplary leadership in their companies".
However, the preliminary list of candidates is subject to change as the committee in charge of finding a replacement for the chairperson had four months to do so.
Meanwhile, the expelled chairman on Thursday hit back with an email to the Tata board members and claimed that the group risked up to $18bn (£14.82bn) in write-downs. Mistry explained that this was amid the group's five unprofitable businesses. He added in the email that he inherited a debt-laden group, was running numerous loss-incurring businesses for emotional reasons.
Mistry's ouster has led Tata Group's companies losing more than Rs 270bn (£3.33bn) in market capitalisation within three days. Share price of companies such as TCS, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals, Indian Hotels, Tata Metaliks, Voltas, Rallis India, Tata Elxsi, Tata Global Beverages and Tata Communications declined during the period on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
The share prices of most of these companies bounced back on Friday after Tata Sons issued a statement and hit back at the leaked mail. The company said it regretted that the confidential mail was made public in an "unseemly and undignified manner".
Tata Sons further said that there were multiple records to show that the allegations made by Mistry were unwarranted. It added that and would be disclosed before appropriate forums, when the time arises which in turn would justify the decision made by the board.