Tata Motors names Mistry interim chief as Slym successor sought

Mistry will run strategy and operations at Tata as well as overseeing new product design and engineering review meetings.
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MUMBAI (Bloomberg) -- Tata Motors said Chairman Cyrus Mistry, 45, will lead the company while it seeks a permanent replacement for Karl Slym, the automaker's managing director, who fell to his death in Thailand last month.

Tata Motors will be led by a committee chaired by Mistry that will oversee strategy and operations, Tata said in a statement. Mistry also will run new product design and engineering review meetings.

The board expects to appoint a new managing director in due course, it said.

Slym, who headed Tata Motors except for the Jaguar Land Rover unit, led efforts to revive profitability at the Indian business, which has lost market share.

Tata Motors, which relies on Jaguar Land Rover for the bulk of its profits, saw sales of Tata-branded passenger vehicles in India slump 37 percent in the nine months through December, the biggest decline among 17 automakers reporting deliveries to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. Sales of the company's Nano microcar plunged 72 percent.

Slym, an English national, died January 26 in a fall from the 22nd floor of the Shangri-La hotel in Bangkok. He was 51.

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