Founder-chair­man emails 1.6 lakh en­gi­neers, say­ing best of Infy is yet to come

The Economic Times - - Front Page - OUR BUREAU

In­fosys Ex­ec­u­tive Chair­man NR Narayana Murthy on Fri­day tried to boost the morale of em­ploy­ees by as­sur­ing them the best is yet to come and that the cur­rent search process for the first non-founder chief ex­ec­u­tive is go­ing as per plans. “The se­lec­tion process for the new leader is pro­gress­ing as planned. The new chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer will be an­nounced at the con­clu­sion of the process,” Murthy wrote in an email ad­dressed to over 160,000 en­gi­neers at the IT com­pany. “While the search is on, In­fosys board, Shibu (SD Shibu­lal), Kris (Kris Gopalkr­ish­nan) and my­self will con­tinue to steer the com­pany in the di­rec­tion we have set. I as­sure the best of In­fosys is yet to come,” said Murthy. Murthy’s email to em­ploy­ees comes at a time the com­pany could pos­si­bly see a fresh ex­o­dus of se­nior ex­ec­u­tives in the com­ing weeks. Some ex­perts be­lieve this could test Murthy’s sto­icism, as many of the ex­ec­u­tives be­lieved to be ex­plor­ing op­tions in­cludes se­nior vice-pres­i­dents. In­fosys has seen 12 se­nior ex­ec­u­tives, in­clud­ing one of the two pres­i­dents, BG Srini­vas, leave the com­pany since Murthy re­turned last June.

Some ex­perts be­lieve that BG Srini­vas’ exit may have forced Murthy to write the email to staff

Back at the com­pany, there was mixed re­ac­tion from em­ploy­ees. But there is agree­ment that apart from a few se­nior ex­ec­u­tives at the top, most em­ploy­ees do not know what is go­ing on in the com­pany.

“It is def­i­nitely as­sur­ing,” said a project man­ager work­ing at the com­pany’s cam­pus in the sub­urbs. “With so much news flow, we don’t know what is hap­pen­ing. So it’s com­fort­ing to know when we are told that things are not that bad (as) is be­ing made out.”

“We were jok­ing with friends (over the email),” said an em­ployee who joined the com­pany six months ago. “(It’s) look­ing like his (Murthy’s) letters would be­come like HR emails (writ­ten fre­quently). Just a few days ago he wrote one. I think such emails don’t boost morale. (Rather) it’ll be great if he can ac­tu­ally stop such events from hap­pen­ing,” said the en­gi­neer, who grad­u­ated last year.

On May 24, Murthy, in his let­ter to em­ploy­ees, had said: “We have adopted a sim­ple for­mula for growth — chase more op­por­tuni- ties, in­crease the size of those op­por­tu­ni­ties, im­prove win rates and im­prove de­mand ful­fill­ment.” An in­de­pen­dent board mem­ber at the com­pany ear­lier told ET that Srini­vas quit­ting the com­pany would not lead to any “speed­ing up of the search process” and a can­di­date would be an­nounced “as per the ear­lier time­line given by the com­pany”. Some ex­perts be­lieve Srini­vas’ de­par­ture may have prompted Murthy to write to em­ploy­ees.

“(Srini­vas’) de­par­ture is very sud­den,” said Ray Wang, founder of Con­stel­la­tion Re­search. “In­fosys is in the midst of a trans­for­ma­tional change, so many vari­ables are at play in­clud­ing who will lead, how out­siders will be brought in, and the mix be­tween prod­ucts and ser­vices,” said Wang. In the lat­est email, Murthy also com­pli­mented Srini­vas’ con­tri­bu­tion to the com­pany.

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