Infy Faces Fresh Round of Ex­its

Noth­ing ap­pears to be go­ing right for In­fosys that once set stan­dards of gov­er­nance and growth. The com­pany seems to have lost its mojo even as nim­bler ri­vals have run ahead. ET takes a look at the tur­moil within this erst­while dar­ling of Dalal Street and

The Economic Times - - Infosys@crossroads - VARUN SOOD

In­fosys could see a fresh ex­o­dus of se­nior ex­ec­u­tives in the com­ing weeks, with at least three se­nior vice pres­i­dents mulling to leave, a move some ex­perts be­lieve could test the sto­icism of ex­ec­u­tive chair­man NR Narayana Murthy. The Ban­ga­lore-based soft­ware ex­porter could see the largest num­ber of se­nior-man­age­ment ex­its in the com­pany’s near 35-year his­tory, said people aware of de­vel­op­ments in the Ban­ga­lore-based com­pany.

“The com­pany is in a mess and the man­age­ment does not know what to do,” said the head of an ex­ec­u­tive search firm, adding the rest­less­ness among se­nior ex­ec­u­tives has be­come ag­gra­vated af­ter one of the two pres­i­dents of the com­pany, BG Srini­vas re­signed on Wed­nes­day.

Ex­ec­u­tives who are con­sid­er­ing to leave the com­pany in­clude the head of busi­ness unit that for now ac­counts for about 13% of com­pany’s rev­enues, ET learns. Two other ex­ec­u­tives who are also in “ad­vanced level talks” with head hunters in­clude the head of one of the fastest-grow­ing busi­ness ver­ti­cals and a busi­ness head based out of In­dia.

In­fosys de­nies for now that any other ex­ec­u­tive has re­signed. How­ever, head­hunters speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity in­sist it is mat­ter of time be­fore the se­nior ex­ec­u­tives start walk­ing out from the com­pany.

In­fosys on its part says that the mar­ket re­ac­tion is “knee­jerk” and a few ex­ec­u­tives leav­ing does not war­rant any speed­ing up of CEO search process.

“At no stage was any guar­an­tees given to any­one...people are feel­ing un­set­tled and if BG Srini­vas (and oth­ers) have got an op­por­tu­nity to take on a lead­er­ship po­si­tion any­where, I think they are free to take this op­por­tu­nity,” an in­de­pen­dent board mem­ber told ET. On Thurs­day, Srini­vas was ap­pointed the group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Hong Kong-based PCCW. V Balakr­ish­nan, for­mer CFO of In­fosys, de­scribed Srini­vas as a “people’s man” and said he doubts if ver­ti­cal heads will be com­fort­able reporting to a CEO who is brought in from out­side the com­pany. Balakr­ish­nan, who thinks for­mer CEO Nan­dan Nilekani should re­turn, also said he is un­sure about the abil­ity of other se­nior ex­ec­u­tives to suc­ceed Shibu­lal. “The present sit­u­a­tion at In­fosys is noth­ing short of cri­sis.” ET learns that Srini­vas first ex­pressed his un­hap­pi­ness to his friends af­ter In­fosys made UB Pravin Rao as pres­i­dent with re­spon­si­bil­ity for de­liv­ery. A for­mer col­league says Srini­vas did sound out Shibu­lal, ex­press­ing his de­sire to leave the com­pany. Al­though Srini­vas too was made pres­i­dent, with the man­date to over­see mar­ket-fac­ing teams, a col­league re­mem­bers say­ing him: “All this while I was made to be­lieve I would be the sole pres­i­dent”.

How­ever, by around midMarch, when Srini­vas was told about the suc­ces­sion process — which was an­nounced on April 11 un­der which In­fosys man­dated an ex­ter­nal ex­ec­u­tive search firm and sought the help of an­other ex­ec­u­tive search specialist to help se­lect from in­side the com­pany — he was com­pletely taken aback, said two for­mer col­leagues. “When he came to know that the com­pany would look be­yond him and Pravin, BG then de­cided to move. That’s when he called head­hunters,” a third ex­ec­u­tive fa­mil­iar with the de­vel­op­ment told ET. Srini­vas, who is based in Lon­don, is learnt to have shared his dis­com­fort with Murthy on Tues­day evening and de­cided to put in his pa­pers the next day. Srini­vas, told ET in a text mes­sage “not to spec­u­late” on the rea­sons be­hind his exit.

Head­hunters speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity in­sist it is mat­ter of time be­fore the se­nior ex­ec­u­tives start walk­ing out from the com­pany

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.