The Telegraph
Saturday , January 4 , 2014
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Infosys reboots leadership team

Mumbai, Jan. 3: Infosys today restructured its top deck by appointing B.G. Srinivas and U.B. Pravin Rao as presidents. The Bangalore based infotech major has suffered an exodus of senior-level executives in the past year.

Srinivas and Rao’s elevation is being seen as a move to groom the next chief executive officer from within.

India’s second-largest software services company will also dissolve its executive council, the top decision-making body of the company, from April 1. Both Srinivas and Rao will report to Infosys CEO and managing director S.D. Shibulal.

Srinivas (BG to his colleagues) was till now the global head of financial services and insurance, head of Europe and chairman of Infosys Lodestone. Rao was senior vice-president and global head of retail, logistics and life sciences.

Srinivas has been seen as a front-runner for the CEO’s post, particularly after the recent resignation of V. Balakrishnan.

Under the new structure, the business portfolios at Infosys have been realigned into two sub-sets. While Srinivas will focus on global markets, Pravin Rao will concentrate on global delivery and service innovation.

The portfolio of both Srinivas and Rao will get expanded as a result. Srinivas will be in charge of financial services, insurance, manufacturing, engineering services, energy & communications, Infosys Public Services, Infosys Lodestone, strategic global sourcing, marketing and alliances.

Pravin Rao will look after retail, consumer packaged goods and logistics, life sciences, resources & utilities, services, growth markets, cloud & mobility, quality & productivity and Infosys Leadership Institute.

“These changes will further enhance our focus on deepening client relationships, increasing market share, creating service differentiation through innovation and agility in execution,” Shibulal said.

Observers, however, think that the elevation and the creation of two business divisions are much more significant. With Shibulal set to retire in 2015, analysts feel either of the two will succeed him.

“It is fairly certain that one of the two will be the next CEO of Infosys,’’ said an observer who did not wish to be quoted. He added that their elevation also indicated that Infosys would continue the practice of appointing its CEO from within the company.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Ankita Somani, research analyst (IT and telecom) at Angel Broking, said the development was positive and it went to show that Infosys was grooming them for a bigger role in the company.

She said in a service-oriented industry where client relationships were crucial, it was vital for Infosys to have a low attrition rate at the top management level.

Last month, Infosys received a setback when V. Balakrishnan, member of the board, resigned. It was the eighth top-level exit in the past six months. Some of the other key exits included Subrahmanyam Goparaju, senior vice-president and a member of the executive council, and Stephen R. Pratt, who co-founded Infosys Consulting.

It is, therefore, being felt that the current elevations may also be intended to retain both Srinivas and Rao in the company.