Tata Sons' decision to replace its chairman Cyrus Mistry with his predecessor Ratan Tata has left Indian media puzzled.
The company, India's largest conglomerate and the holding company of Tata Group, unexpectedly announced Mistry's departure on Monday (24 October), without offering any explanation for its decision nor any further details over the motivations that led to it.
According to Indian business publication Mint, Mistry, who had replaced Tata in 2012 as the first chairman from outside the Tata family, was relieved of his duties over "contrasting styles in investment", adding his approach "was in sharp contrast with that of his predecessor Ratan Tata".
The unexpected decision, the publication warns, could see Tata's share price suffer in the foreseeable future.
The Economic Times does not elaborate over the implications Mistry's departure could have on the company's share, although it describes Tata's decision to part ways with its former chairman as a possible watershed moment for the Mumbai-based group.
The Indian daily claims Mistry was ousted, describing his departure as "worse than any scene from corporate fiction in which the CEO is given the pink slip at the shortest possible notice". Mint runs a similar line, claiming Mistry was not given the chance of handing in his resignation.
The decision, the Economic Times adds, "is most unusual and not in keeping with the reputation of good corporate governance that the Tatas had earned over the past decades".
According to the paper, Mistry's blatant disregard for the company's so-called "old guard", paved the way for his departure. Tata's former chairman was ousted over "performance issues," the paper explains, adding the company had grown unhappy with his chairman's "approach of shedding non-profit businesses, including the conglomerate's steel business in Europe, and concentrating only on cash cows".
Meanwhile, the Times of India says Mistry was sacked and that he is likely "to move to the Mumbai high court" to challenge his dismissal.
"Given the financial and family backing that Cyrus enjoys, any legal challenge he mounts against his dismissal could lead to uncertainty both within and outside the group, at a time when a number of its companies aren't doing very well," the paper said.