Infy to Get List of CEO Probables Next Month
Exec search firm Egon Zehnder’s list may include names of Kamath, Kiran Shaw, R Seshasayee
Infosys will receive a list of probable names for its first non-founder CEO as early as next month from the executive search firm that is helping it zero in on the candidate. The company’s nominations committee is expected to share with other board members, including those at independent board level, the names of external candidates sometime towards the middle of June, said a person familiar with the development. “The nominations committee will update other members the names it has got (from Egon Zehnder) at the (coming) board meeting,” the executive said, declining to share details. ET learns that Egon Zehnder, the executive search firm, is expected to submit the list by the first week of June to the three-member strong nominations panel, which includes independent directors KV Kamath, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and R Seshasayee. Once the nominations panel has the 8-10 names from outside the company, the panel in consultation with Egon will whittle down it to three names in the coming months, said another person directly familiar with the development.
The Bangalore-based software exporter would by then also have the names from internal ranks after being evaluated by Development Dimensions International, the specialist firm hired to evaluate its senior executives.
The search for the next CEO at Infosys is important as both founding members of the company, vicechairman Kris Gopalakrishnan and current chief executive SD Shibulal would retire next year. Infosys started the search for the fifth chief executive in April after Shibulal expressed his desire to step down earlier than his planned retirement in March 2015. Kris retires in April next year, leaving only chairman Narayana Murthy to be at the company, which was founded in 1981. Murthy’s second term ends in 2018.
BG Srinivas, one of the two presidents at Infosys who is responsible for most client-facing functions, is considered to be the front-runner for the top job. Both executives declined to give any timelines by when the potential successor’s name would be decided but one of the sources quoted above said the company should have a name by middle of October. Since succession planning has not been listed as one of the eleven subjects to be discussed at the Infosys’ Annual General Meeting, scheduled on June 14, one of the executives mentioned above said a special board meeting could be held tentatively on June 12. ET independently could not confirm this as the company declined to comment. The executives dismissed any talk of executive search firm struggling to find potential names for the next chief executive and said the executive search firm remains “on track”. Executive search firm Egon Zehnder in the past has helped large corporates find top bosses to run operations. Egon is assisting Tata Motors find managing director after Karl Slym’s sudden demise in Bangkok earlier this year. Egon Zehnder declined to comment to comment for the story.