The 43-year-old construction tycoon will become chairman of the Indian conglomerate when Ratan Tata retires next December.
His appointment is likely to cheer Tata’s 50,000 UK workers – in firms including Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Steel and Tetley Tea – because of his strong English links.
A keen Anglophile, he has a home in London, earned a civil engineering degree from Imperial College and also studied science in management at London Business School.
The recruitment of Mistry ends a 15-month committee search for a new executive and bucks tradition by hiring a non-family member for the first time in the firm’s 143-year history.
Mistry, who will head a group with revenues in excess of $83bn (£53bn), is brother-in-law to Noel Tata, Ratan Tata’s half-brother and the man many considered frontrunner for the job.