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MUMBAI: TCS’ HR director (UK Ireland), Nupur Mallick, is set to be the new HR chief of Tata Sons, the holding company of the $100-billion-plus conglomerate. Mallick, who has been a TCSer since 1997, will replace S Padmanabhan, who has been handling the HR portfolio for the past 18 months.
Padmanabhan was given this responsibility following N S Rajan’s resignation in the wake of Tata Sons removing Cyrus Mistry from the chairman’s post in October 2016. Rajan was hired by Mistry in 2013 from EY.
Mallick’s proposed appointment highlights Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran’s move to strengthen his leadership team. Chandrasekaran has been building up a support system comprising external hires and candidates from TCS where he was the CEO before becoming the chairman of Tata Sons in February 2017. Old Tata guards have been unhappy that key portfolios at Tata Sons have been allocated to new recruits with some even complaining to Ratan Tata about the change in culture.
Padmanabhan will retire from Tata Sons on turning 60 this May under the company’s HR policy. Besides heading HR, Padmanabhan oversees ethics and sustainability at Tata Sons following the recent exit of Mukund Rajan.
Padmanabhan is also the chairman of Tata Business Excellence Group (TBExG), a division of Tata Sons. It is unclear who will be his successor at TBExG. However, Padmanabhan, who has been with the group for 36 years, will continue to be on the board of Tata companies such as Tata Chemicals as the retirement age for non-executive directors is 70 years.