2000yr old Thirukural

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Infosys first non-Indian CEO

         IT bellwether Infosys Technologies could have its first non-founder and non-Indian CEO in the next 2-3 years, according to a BNP Paribas report titled "Don't fix it if it ain't broken". The report speculates that Steve Pratt , present CEO of Infosys Consulting , could step into that role. This will break tradition at Infosys where the COO has always gone on to become CEO.

The current chairman N R Narayana Murthy is due to retire in August. It has been speculated that CEO S Gopalakrishnan may step into that role, while COO and co-founder S D Shibulal will take over as CEO from Gopalakrishnan. The BNP Paribas report says such a transition is a possibility.

However, the report adds that 56-year-old Shibulal might play a transitionary role for the eventual handover of the CEO role to the company's first non-founder CEO two years later. The BNP Paribas views are that of an analyst and not part of any management briefing. Analysts have spent considerable time making predictions on Infosys's internal rejig that is in the offing.

On being asked about the possibility of a non-Indian like Pratt taking over as the CEO, T V Mohandas Pai, the head of HR at Infosys, said the company would not like to comment on unsubstantiated speculations. On the issue of Shibulal taking over as CEO from Gopalakrishnan, Pai said this decision was left to the board, and the board has not made a decision on this as yet.

The report says the transition is in line with Infosys's plans to incorporate managerial and operational changes as part of its long-term growth strategy. However, the report said these changes would be different from recent internal reorganizations undertaken by some of Infosys's peers.

In 2008, TCS made changes when industry-wide revenue opportunities were weak, while in 2011, Wipro made structural shifts because of the company's underperformance vis-a-vis peers. In this case, the business environment is currently positive and therefore the changes will not be urgent or involve a company-wide restructuring, said the report.      


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