J J Irani's 43-year long association with Tata Steel ends

J J Irani's 43-year long association with Tata Steel ends

"Tata Steel has informed that J J Irani has stepped down from the Board of the company on June 02, on reaching the age of 75 years," it said in a stock exchange filing.

A PhD from UK's Sheffield University, Irani started his career in 1963 as a senior scientific officer at British Iron and Steel Research Association in Sheffield itself and climbed to the position of Head (Physical Metallurgy Division).

Returning back to India, he joined The Tata Iron and Steel Company (now Tata Steel) in 1968 as an assistant to the Director in charge of Research & Development.

Irani became general superintendent of the company in 1978, general manager in 1979, president in 1985, made Director in 1998 and finally at the top as Managing Director in 1992. Irani remained at the helm of affairs till his retirement from the company in 2001.

A great proponent of quality and affirmative actions, the technologists brought TISCO back to life in the 1990s from the brinks of closure by initiating cost reduction measures and insisting superior quality production at Jamshedpur facility.

His view on the steel industry and projections for the future are widely accepted even by Tata Steel rivals.

The government in 2004 appointed him as Chairman of the Expert Committee to advise it for drafting the new Companies Act. He was conferred an honorary Knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997 and was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2007.

Tata Group in April this year has lowered the retirement age of the non-executive directors of all Tata Group companies to 70 from 75. However, it had mentioned that non-executive directors who have already crossed 70 would stay on till they reach at 75 following the old rule that was laid down in 2005.

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