Marathon Man, Tata Sons Chief: Who Is N Chandrasekaran, New Air India Chairman?

A long-distance runner, the Tata Sons chairman had joined TCS in 1987 and taken over as CEO in 2009.

2 min read

Natarajan Chandrasekaran, the chairman of Tata Sons, was on Monday, 14 March, appointed as the chairperson of erstwhile national airline, Air India.

This comes barely a month after the surprise appointment and then the quick exit of former chairperson of Turkish Airlines, Ilker Ayci, as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) of Air India.

Tata Group is yet to find Ayci's replacement even as Chandrasekaran takes over as Air India's chairman.

Chandrasekaran, the first non-Parsi and professional executive to head the Tata Group, had taken over as the seventh chairman of Tata Sons Ltd back in January 2017 after joining the Board of Tata Sons in October 2016.


Who Is the New Chairperson of the National Airline Air India?

Born in Mohanur near Namakkal in Tamil Nadu, Chandrasekaran studied in a Tamil Government school in Mohanur.

After receiving a bachelor's degree in Applied Sciences from the Coimbatore Institute of Technology in Tamil Nadu, he earned a Master of Computer Applications (MCA) from the now National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli in 1986.

A long-distance runner and a resident of Mumbai, the Tata Sons chairman had joined TCS in 1987 and taken over as CEO in 2009, after executing the roles of the COO and executive director of TCS.

In addition to TCS, the new Air India chairperson also chairs the boards of several group operating companies, including Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Power.

Air India CEO Row

Previously, the Tata Group had announced that Turkish Airlines chairperson Ilker Ayci would be the chief executive of Air India. However, Ayci, on 1 March, turned down the Tata Sons' offer to be the CEO of the airline, after his appointment was met with opposition in India.

Ayci had stated that since the announcement, some sections of the Indian media had been “attempting to colour my appointment with undesirable colours."

Earlier, the Air India divestment process was completed with the Tata Group officially taking over the airlines on 27 January, after having won the bid to take over airline by offering Rs 18,000 crore for it.

Chandra, as he is popularly known, had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ahead of the takeover.

After the process was completed, Chandra had said, "We're totally delighted that this process is complete and happy to have Air India back in the Tata Group. We look forward to working with everyone to create a world-class airline."

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