Smiths Chairman Said to Be Approached to Replace Tata’s Mistry

George Buckley.

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

George Buckley, chairman of British engineering company Smiths Group Plc, has been approached to replace ousted Cyrus Mistry as chairman of Tata Sons Ltd., the holding company of Indian conglomerate Tata Group, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Buckley is willing to consider the Tata role and could juggle it and his Smiths chairmanship, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private. Talks with Buckley are at an early stage, and Tata is likely to make a decision at the beginning of 2017, the person said.

A representative for Smiths declined to comment. Tata Group doesn’t comment on speculation, a spokesperson said.

Tata’s interest in appointing Buckley was first reported by Sky News, which previously said Unilever’s former Chief Operating Officer Harish Manwani is being considered for the role.

Buckley is currently lead independent director of U.S. toolmaker Stanley Black & Decker Inc., and is slated to become chairman of its board in January.

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