Ratan Tata may be asked to oversee Air India's restructuring
08 July 2009
New Delhi: With Air India continuing to hog headlines for all the wrong reasons, minister of civil aviation Praful Patel has now indicated that the top management of the struggling state-owned carrier would undergo a major reshuffle. He has also indicated that the carrier's board of directors would be restructured with persons of eminence finding a place alongside industry professionals.
It has also been let known that the head of the Tata Group, Ratan Tata, may be approached to head the board and oversee the restructuring effort. "The board will be headed by someone of the eminence of a luminary like Ratan Tata and will be set up within a month," Patel mentioned in his remarks to a private TV channel.
The airline was founded by the late JRD Tata in 1932, who continued to chair the board of the carrier for a long period even after it was taken over by the government. Ratan Tata was himself the non-executive chairman of the carrier for a brief period in the late 1980s.
According to Patel, the government would now set up an international advisory board comprising prominent people, including former heads of major global airlines, to oversee the carrier's restructuring programme.
"We are going to revamp the management and will issue global ads for a chief operating officer, who could be an expat, to assist the CMD," he said. "The international advisory board for AI would comprise former chiefs of major airlines and would set the turnaround path for AI. I am working on a complete rejig."