Highlights:

  • Air India board members were asked to resign the previous week and they are likely to do so at their last meeting
  • The board members were asked to resign at a meeting on November 15
  • The official added that the resignations will also include the ruling BJP party’s Syed Zafar Islam, the non-official director of the airline

Air India board members were asked to resign the previous week and they are likely to do so at their last meeting in the following month before Tata Sons take over the airline in January, according to sources familiar with the developments. The government chose Tata Sons as the winning bidder for the debt-laden state-run Air India in October almost 70 years after its nationalization. Air India was established in 1932 as Tata Airlines.

An airline official voiced, “Seven board members have been asked to resign. These include four functional directors, two government nominee directors, chairman, and managing director (CMD). The board of directors has to resign (before the transfer of control) takes place after the (last) board meeting of Air India.” He continued that the board members were asked to resign at a meeting on November 15.

Another second airline official noted that the last board meeting is likely to be conducted in the second or third week of December following which all the seven directors will resign. The official added that the resignations will also include the ruling BJP party’s Syed Zafar Islam, the non-official director of the airline.

A former chief executive officer, C S Subbiah stated that the resignations are a formality and a requirement as well as a positive signal to the new owner that the process is on time and they will take control as per their plans. The chief executive officer added, “New board has to take over as Tata Sons are the new owners of the airline. The current board is such that there is a CMD and government directors and functional directors who all will have to quit.”

Subbiah voiced that the new board might have an independent director and will have professionals with experience at the international level. He continued, “The new owner might not have functional directors unlike the current board and might have more owners’ representatives, independent directors, and an independent chairman and managing directors. Tatas will bring in professionals to avoid mistakes of the past, it might even appoint an independent finance expert.”

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