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Tata Steel names TV Narendran as MD; to assume operations from November 1

KOLKATA: A much awaited succession atTata SteelBSE -1.18 % finally took shape on Thursday after its board announced the appointment of TV Narendran as managing director designate of the company. Narendran will succeed HM Nerurkar who retires on October 31, 2013. 

Narendran, 48, is one of the youngest to take over the reins at Tata Steel at a time the steelmaker is setting up a six million tonne plant in Odisha. He is currently Vice President- Safety, Flat Products and Long Products. 

Narendran was picked over other contenders such as raw materials head Partha Sengupta, 54, and vice-president (TQM & shared services) Anand Sen, 51. 

The board has appointed Koushik Chatterjee, 44, currently executive director and group CFO of Tata Steel, as group executive director (Finance & Corporate). Chatterjee, who would continue to head the finance section, would also be responsible for the Tata Steel group's corporate functions including legal and regulatory affairs, communications, strategic procurement, information systems, group investments and global mining projects and assurance, according to a press release. 

Media reports had mentioned Chatterjee as a possible candidate for the top post at Tata Steel. Sengupta, considered to be a serious candidate, is being probed by investigative agencies in connection with a mining scam allegedly involving Madhu Koda, former chief minister of Jharkhand. 

Narendran takes over the company at a critical juncture. In the annual report for the year 2012-13, Cyrus Mistry, chairman of the steel maker and holding company 
Tata Sons, called the two-phase 6 million tonne greenfield steel plant in Odisha as the "most important growth project" for the Tata Steel group. A mechanical engineer from REC (NIT) Trichy, Narendran joined Tata Steel after completing MBA from IIM Calcutta in 1988. Narendran has also attended the Advanced Management Programme in CEDEP - INSEAD, Fountainbleau, France. 

Narendran will assume charge on November 1 as MD of Tata Steel India and South East Asia, while 
Karl Koehler will be MD & CEO of Tata Steel Europe. The new leadership team will be responsible for giving direction and strategy for Tata Steel across both its emerging and developed markets. 

This was one of most closelywatched and high profile appointments in the Tata group after
Cyrus Mistry took charge as chairman conglomerate from Ratan Tata on December 28, 2012.