A new year means a new start for two well-known family businesses, with Indian powerhouse Tata Group bidding farewell to iconic businessman Ratan Tata, while US-based hospitality group Carlson has elected its next chairman.
Fourth-generation Ratan Tata retired as chairman of Tata Group on 28 December and has been replaced by Cyrus Mistry. The 75-year-old stepped down after 21 years at the helm, having grown Tata Group’s revenues to more than $100 billion (€75 billion) from $6 billion through a range of acquisitions.
Tata Group set up a five-member specialist panel to search for Tata’s replacement, but eventually found its candidate within its own ranks. Mistry’s family firm, Shapoorji Pallonji, owns 18% of Tata Group’s holding company, Tata Sons. The family is the second largest shareholder after the Tata Trust. Mistry is also brother-in-law to Noel Tata, Tata’s half-brother.
At 43 years old, Mistry is 11 years younger than Tata when he took the top job at the Indian conglomerate, which has interests in diverse industries including communications and information technology, engineering, consumer products and chemicals.
In the US, Diana Nelson is to replace her mother, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, as chair of Carlson, the $38 billion hospitality and tourism firm behind brands such as Radisson and Park Plaza.
Nelson, who will take up her new position in May, is the third member of the Carlson family to head the board and is the granddaughter of the company’s founder, Curt Carlson. A Harvard graduate, Nelson has sat on the board for nearly 10 years.
She said in a statement: “I am reverent about this role and see it as a significant responsibility. As leadership of the company passes to the third generation, I am honoured to continue the legacy started by my grandfather.”
Trudy Rautio, the recently appointed president and chief executive of Carlson, added: “This will be a seamless passing of the baton from Marilyn to Diana.”