Tata Sons' N Chandrasekaran appointed as Air India chairman

Alice GeeVarghese Vaidyan, former CMD of General Insurance Corporation, will also be inducted as an independent director on board



N Chandrasekaran. Photo: PTI
N Chandrasekaran. Photo: PTI

By Web Desk

Published: Mon 14 Mar 2022, 8:00 PM

Tata Sons executive chairman N Chandrasekaran has been officially named as the chairman of Air India, the airline which was acquired by Tata Group from the central government last year.

According to a Times of India report, the appointment of a new CEO of the formerly state-owned airline is also expected to be finalised soon.

Alice GeeVarghese Vaidyan, former CMD of General Insurance Corporation, will also be inducted as an independent director on board, according to the report.

Earlier this month, Turkey's Ilker Ayci turned down on the role of chief executive of Tata Group's Air India, days after the announcement of his appointment led to opposition in India over his previous political links.

Tata last month announced Ayci's appointment as CEO of previously state-run Air India after taking over the debt-laden airline in January in a $2.4 billion equity and debt deal.

According to Reuters, a Hindu nationalist group close to India's ruling party called on the government to block Ayci's appointment citing his previous political links in Turkey, which has strained relations with New Delhi.

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Ayci, a former chairman of Turkish Airlines, was an adviser in 1994 to Tayyip Erdogan when the Turkish president was mayor of Istanbul.

Ayci said in a statement that in a recent meeting with Tata Chairman N Chandrasekaran he declined to take the post after reading about attempts "to colour my appointment with undesirable colours" in some sections of the Indian media.

"As a business leader who has always prioritised professional credo ... I have come to the conclusion that it would not be a feasible or an honorable decision to accept the position in the shadow of such narrative," Ayci said.

A spokesperson for India's Tata confirmed the development, without sharing further details.


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