Hunt is on for New Infosys CEO as Shibulal Seeks Early Exit
By ENS Economic Bureau | Published: 12th April 2014 06:00 AM |
Incumbent MD and CEO of IT bellwether Infosys SD Shibulal will quit before his planned exit in March 2015.
This would mark an important transition in the history of the company as for the first time they would look for a non-cofounder for the top job. The company’s search will also look at external candidates, broadening their search.
Whether Shibulal’s exit can be clubbed with the other high profile exits remains debatable, the developments raise speculation if his decision was voluntary or if he was asked to leave the company. In a statement, Infosys said that Shibulal has “expressed his desire to retire as the CEO and MD of the company and as a member of the Board of Directors either on the date of the last board meeting before his superannuation - January 9, 2015 or when his successor is ready to assume office, whichever date is earlier.”
The company had seen over nine top level exits in the last two years. Interestingly, many in the list who left the company were tipped to take over from Shibulal including former CFO V Balakrishnan and former Head of Americas Ashok Vemuri.
Infosys had posted a string of below bar performances under Shibulal. One of the biggest example is when the company lost over `34,000 crore in market capitalisation when shares of Infosys tanked 22 per cent in the Bombay Stock Exchange after their fourth quarter (FY13) results. The string of dismal show also saw the return of co-founder and former CEO of the company, NR Narayana Murthy as the executive chairman of the company.
Murthy had (at the time) downplayed the performance under Shibulal and said that the CEO was ‘shouldering’ the company in challenging times. “Globally as well, CEO's takes a lot of tough and timely decisions but the impact comes only much later. Like I gave help to previous CEO's, I shall give the same help to Shibulal,” Murthy had said in June 2013 (when he returned to the company).
Shibulal was expected to leave office in March 2015 after he turns 60 years old. The company announced that the nominations committee will short list and evaluate an internal slate of candidates with the assistance of corporate executive evaluations company, Development Dimensions International (DDI).
“The Board has also appointed Egon Zehnder, an executive search firm, to assist the Nominations Committee in identifying an external slate of candidates,” the company said in a statement.
With declining performance numbers and with markets down in the US and Europe, the new appointee will be entrusted with an arduous task of turning the company’s fortunes around.