Infosys Chief Executive Officer S D Shibulal is leaving the company earlier than his scheduled retirement in March 2015, raising the possibility of a non-cofounder CEO for the first time in the company’s history.
Infosys has already appointed Egon Zehnder, an executive search firm, to look for “an external slate of candidates”. It said its Nominations Committee will also shortlist and evaluate an internal list of candidates for the top job.
Infosys said 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 sudden developments have raised speculation whether Shibulal’s decision was voluntary.
Infosys has seen over nine top-level exits in the last two years. Many who left the company were tipped to take over from Shibulal, including former CFO V Balakrishnan and former head of the Americas Ashok Vemuri.
Under Shibulal, Infosys had posted a string of below-par results. It lost over `34,000 crore in market capitalisation when its shares tanked 22 per cent on the Bombay Stock Exchange after its fourth quarter in financial year 2013.
The dismal performances saw the return of co-founder and former CEO N R Narayana Murthy as its executive chairman. Murthy had downplayed the performance under Shibulal and said the CEO was “shouldering” the company in challenging times.
With declining performance numbers and with markets down in the United States and Europe, the new CEO will have an arduous task turning things around for the company.