Infosys: CEO candidate can be outsider

Infosys: CEO candidate can be outsider

Summary: Indian outsourcing vendor's chairman, N.R. Narayana Murthy, says an external candidate may be selected as the company's new CEO, despite the recent promotions of two executives to president.


Infosys says it isn't ruling out external candidates in its hunt for a new CEO despite having recently promoted two of its executives to president.

The Indian outsourcing vendor has been on an intensive search for a new chief to replace current head honcho, S.D Shibulal, when he retires in March 2015. Expectations were that it would select a candidate from within its ranks, and rumors had been rife that it might be one of two executives--B.G Srinivas and Pravin Rao--who were recently named presidents of the company.

Indian outsourcing vendor will look beyond its walls if current executives don't measure up as potential CEO.

Chairman and co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy, however, made it clear no one was shoo-in and the CEO hunt could be extended beyond the Infosys wall if Srinivas and Rao did not meet expectations, according to a report by The Economic Times.

"We will study this, we will look at the results, and if it doesn't prove after giving sufficient time, certainly we'll change," Murthy told analysts during the company's third-quarter earnings. "Let it be very very clear, because at the end of the day, our priority is to make this a high-performance organization. If for any reason the nominations committee decides that there will be a CEO from the outside, then this is the structure that is least perturbing to the stability of the organization."

Murthy himself had returned to Infosys last June in a bid to beef up the company's leadership team and guide it through the current "challenging" landscape. He brought along his son, Rohan, who joined as executive assistant in the chairman's office, but the younger Murthy was considered too inexperienced for the CEO role.  

During the media conference, the Murthy described his offspring as "brilliant" but gave no details about his further role in Infosys. "My understanding is that he would like to go back to Harvard at an appropriate time, but who knows, he may change his mind and do something else," he said in response to a question about Rohan.

Murthy also dismissed any concerns about the exodus of several senior executives, noting that the future of Infosys remained unaffected. "In so far as the exits are concerned, let me make a cryptic statement, and that is, 'It is good for them, it is good for the company.'"

The Indian company last month announced V. Balakrishnan, board member and head of its BPO, Finacle, and India business unit, had resigned and added that it was adding several executives to its board including Rao. India's second-largest outsourcing vendor, Infosys had seen several top executives leaving the coop including Mohandas Pai, former CFO and also once a frontrunner for CEO, and Ashok Vemuri, former board member and head of manufacturing and Americas. 

Topics: Outsourcing, India, Leadership


Eileen Yu began covering the IT industry when Asynchronous Transfer Mode was still hip and e-commerce was the new buzzword. Currently a freelance blogger and content specialist based in Singapore, she has over 16 years of industry experience with various publications including ZDNet, IDG, and Singapore Press Holdings.

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  • Infosys: Another large Indian SI company

    Infosys like many other large Indian SI company have tried very hard to penetrate into China, the potential largest future market in the world after US, but failed miserably just like the other Indian firms. Why? Mainly because its management team are mostly Indians. This strategy can probably work in English speaking world like the US but not China.

    Not only Infosys need to hire Chinese speaking management but also understand Chinese culture and its behaviour.

    Unfortunately in most cases, they only hire Chinese to do the work but the "brain" and decision making is still with the Indians which will failed miserably in countries such as China, Japan, Korea.

    Another issue with Indian consulting firms is given their advantage in numbers (size of company) and cheaper labour (due to indians), they have managed to get a big size of the entire consulting/system integration market but they still failed to sell and achieve well in the upper segment market like Business Consulting, SCM, BPR etc, still unable to compete with the Big 4.