Group CEO of India's Tata Motors resigns
India's leading vehicle maker Tata Motors said Friday its group chief executive and managing director Carl-Peter Forster had resigned with immediate effect due to "unavoidable personal circumstances".
The company did not elaborate on Forster's decision, but said that he would continue to serve as a non-executive board member, in a statement issued to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
"I deeply regret that my personal circumstances make it difficult for me to continue to perform the challenging duties of managing the thriving global activities of the Tata Motors Group," Forster said in the statement.
Forster, who joined Tata Motors in January last year, was successful in making British luxury car brands Jaguar and Land Rover profitable after acquiring them from Ford for $2.3 billion in 2008.
Forster was previously head of General Motors in Europe.
Ratan Tata, chairman of the salt-to-steel Tata conglomerate, said: "The Board respects Carl-Peter's personal circumstances that led to this move."
The statement said that Prakash Telang, the managing director of Indian operations and Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover's current chief executive, would continue to represent their respective operations on the board.
Analysts said Tata Motors will need to fill the top leadership position quickly, amid challenging market conditions and as auto sales in India are starting to slacken due to higher prices and costlier auto loans.
Tata Motors shares ended down 3.21 percent at 763.6 rupees at the BSE, ahead of the announcement.
© 2011 AFP