Infosys Hunts for New CEO, Shibulal Wants to go Early

Published: 11th April 2014 08:02 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th April 2014 08:07 PM   |  A+A-

India's second largest software exporter Infosys has started looking for a new CEO, as incumbent and co-founder S.D. Shibulal wants to leave the company before retiring in March 2015 when he turns 60 years.

In a dramatic announcement Friday, the IT bellwether said the board's nomination committee had begun searching for a successor to 59-year-old Shibulal, who expressed desire to retire before retirement in March 2015 or when a successor is ready to assume office.

"The nomination's committee of the board of directors has begun the search to select a successor to Shibulal, who expressed his desire to retire as the chief executive and managing director on the date of last board meeting (Jan 9, 2015) or before his superannuation (in March 2015) or when a successor is ready to assume office, whichever date is earlier," the company said in a statement.

Incidentally, the board of directors is scheduled to meet April 15 to finalise the company's accounts for fiscal 2013-14.

"The committee will short list and evaluate an internal slate of candidates with the assistance of Development Dimensions International (DDI), a company specialising in corporate executive evaluations," the statement said.

The nominations committee is headed by Jeffrey Sean Lehman.

The board has also appointed Egon Zehnder, an executive search firm, to assist the committee in identifying an external list of candidates.

A company's spokesperson declined to comment on reasons for Shibulal wanting to quit early as "we are in a silent period before declaring financial results for fourth quarter (January-March) of fiscal 2013-14".

The global software major's twin presidents B.G. Srinivas and U.B. Pravin Rao are in race for the top post as internal candidates, as hinted by its executive chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy in January at Mysore, about 150km from here.

Srinivas and Rao, who are also on the board as directors, were elevated to the new posts of president in January and report to Shibulal.

Srinivas is in-charge of global markets, while Rao looks after global delivery and service innovation.

Since Murthy returned to head the company June 1 last year, with his son Rohan Murthy as his executive assistant, nine executives, including a couple of board directors resigned for various reasons.

Murthy co-founded the blue-chip company in 1981 along with N.S. Raghavan, S. Gopalakrishnan, Nandan Nilekani, Shibulal and K. Dinesh, who resigned in April 2011.

Gopalakrishnan, who was co-chairman when K.V. Kamath was appointed chairman from April 2011 to May 31, 2013, was re-designated as executive vice chairman when Murthy took over the company again.

The last to resign is executive council member and senior vice-president Chandrashekar Kakal.

According to a regulatory filing, Kakal conveyed to the company March 19 that he would resign effective from April 18.

Kakal, who joined Infosys in 1999, heads the India business unit and is responsible for application development, maintenance, testing and infrastructure management services worldwide.

Before Kakal, board director and former chief financial officer V. Balakrishnan resigned Dec 31 and joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to contest from the Bangalore Central Lok Sabha constituency in the April 17 general elections.

Prior to Balakrishanan, head of Infosys' consulting subsidiary in the US Stephen Pratt stepped down in November, while heads of its business process outsourcing (BPO) subsidiary in Australia Kartik Jayaraman and Humberto Andrade in Latin America resigned in September.

In August, another board director and head of global manufacturing business Ashok Vemuri and vice president and financial services head in Americas Sudhi Chaturvedi quit.

Vemuri later joined the US-based iGate Corporation as chief executive.

A month after Murthy returned in June, global sales head Basab Pradhan was the first senior executive to quit in July.


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