The Telegraph
Thursday , May 29 , 2014
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Top-job contender quits Infy

Mumbai, May 28: Infosys president and board member B.G. Srinivas has resigned, the latest in a series of senior management exits at India’s second-largest software services exporter.

Srinivas’s resignation is effective from June 10, the company said in a statement to the exchanges.

Infosys did not give any reason for the resignation of Srinivas, who was seen as one of the candidates to become the next head when chief executive S.D. Shibulal retires early next year.

Srinivas’s is the tenth top-level exit since Infosys brought back from retirement its founder N.R. Narayana Murthy to help revive the company in June last year.

Srinivas, who was Infosys's highest-paid executive, led key portfolios such as financial services, manufacturing and public services.

“During his tenure at Infosys, B.G. Srinivas played a pivotal role in building the enterprise solutions unit, strengthening our business in Europe and driving growth in key business verticals. I would like to wish him the very best,” S.D. Shibulal said.

Though neither Srinivas nor the firm gave reasons for the sudden move, outsiders such as former Infosys CFO V. Balakrishnan felt it was because he might have lost out in the race for the top job.

Balakrishnan — who himself was considered a candidate for the top job while in Infosys — told PTI: “I think, he (Srinivas) would have resigned as he might have come to know that he is no more in the race for CEO.”

Some of the external names that are now doing the rounds for Infosys top job include Suresh Vaswani, president of services at Dell; Vishal Sikka, who recently resigned from SAP AG; and Franciso D’Souza, CEO of Cognizant Technology Solutions.

Within Infosys, apart from Srinivas, U.B. Pravin Rao, president and member of the board, has also been considered as a frontrunner to the post.

“While the news could be negative for the stock tomorrow, it is almost clear that the next CEO will either be an external candidate or another person from the company. If it is an external candidate, we may see more exits at Infosys,’’ an analyst said.

The analyst added that in the event that an external candidate is preferred, Pravin Rao could also put in his papers.

Srinivas is tipped to join another IT services firm as its chief executive officer and managing director, PTI said quoting sources.

“Srinivas will join as CEO and managing director of another listed entity. The announcement to this effect is likely to announced soon,” sources told the news agency.

Infosys has begun the process of finding Shibulal’s successor and has appointed Development Dimensions International (DDI), a company specialising in corporate executive evaluations, and Egon Zehnder, an executive search firm, to assist the nominations committee in identifying internal and external candidates, respectively.

While the process had begun in April this year, it was believed that Srinivas was the frontrunner to the post.

Srinivas, who joined Infosys in 1999, was elevated to president in January this year. Srinivas had set up the enterprise solutions unit which went on to become the company’s largest horizontal unit. His varied portfolio included financial services, insurance, manufacturing, engineering services, energy and communications, strategic global sourcing, and marketing and alliances.

In 2013-14, he received a total compensation of $1.3 million (Rs 7.8 crore), including a salary of $844,453, bonus and incentives of $281,415 and other compensation of $154,143.

Murthy, who returned as executive chairman, has been making a series of changes, including cutting costs at on-site work locations and shifting focus to large deals. On Srivinas’s exit, Murthy said: “Srinivas has been an integral part of Infosys and has played an important role in the company's growth.”