A huge Indian company replaced its chairman and it might not be good news for steelworkers in Port Talbot

Tata Sons, the holding company that owns Tata Steel, unexpectedly removed Cyrus Mistry as company chairman, replacing him with former chief Ratan Tata.

The company issued a short statement that gave no indication of how the board came to its decision.

“Tata Sons today announced that its Board has replaced Mr. Cyrus P. Mistry as Chairman of Tata Sons. The decision was taken at a Board meeting held here today,” the group said in a statement on its website on Monday.

Mistry had taken over as chairman from Ratan Tata in 2012. The group is looking for a permanent chairman, according to the statement.

The Tata Group has a turnover of more than $100 billion and owns brands including Tetley tea, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Steel, the second biggest steel producer in Europe.

The steel unit caused a political stir earlier this year when it threatened to pull the plug on some of its UK steel plants, including Port Talbot in Wales. The plant is Tata’s biggest in the UK but reportedly loses £1 million a day, unable to compete with cheap Chinese-made steel.

Tata sold off several UK assets to Greybull Capital in June, saving around 4,400 jobs but the fate of the 4,000 workers at Port Talbot is still uncertain.

The Times noted that Ratan Tata said that the company’s UK plants were “underinvested and overmanned” and that it might need to “cut back on the size and the scale of the operations and make them profitable.”

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