N Srinath, who was once an executive assistant to Ratan Tata, will be stepping into the role of Head of Tata Trusts in early 2020. Having been a Tata veteran, Srinath emerged as a strong contender for the top role of the nation’s largest public charitable organization.
A three-member committee had been formed by the foundation in March this year, in order to replace R Venkataramanan after he exited the top role. This committee was led by Ratan Tata and had been conducting an exhaustive search for a competitive executive to lead the Tata Trusts.
Tata Trusts came to the decision to create the CEO post upon running into trouble with income tax authorities over Venkataramanan’s (who was the Managing Trustee) high compensation. The tax authorities had claimed that a high salary of a couple of crores was not in accordance with the deed of Sir Dorabji Tata Trust that stipulated that a trustee must be paid Rs. 1,000. However, with the elimination of the position of managing trustee and the introduction of the CEO post, there would be no challenges in terms of creating a compensation package that is according to the market salaries.
Srinath had been involved in handling the sale of Tata Teleservices’ consumer mobile business to Bharti Airtel. He would also have to help Tata Trusts navigate through the impending legal battles. He has been a part of the Tata Group since 1986 and is currently on the board of several Tata companies including Tata Communications (earlier, VSNL).