V Balakrishnan may succeed SD Shibulal as chief executive officer of Infosys

v-balakarishnan-InfosysV Balakrishnan who is now perceived as the front runner to succeed SD Shibulal as chief executive officer of Infosys and this is chairman NR Narayana Murthy’s first significant reshuffle since he returned in June this year likely to further enhancing the powers of his close confidante.

In addition to heading Infosys BPO, consulting subsidiary Lodestone, banking software unit Finacle and the India business, Balakrishnan will now oversee the division catering to companies in the utilities and resources sectors in North America, according to people aware of the matter.

Also gaining in the reshuffle is Chandrashekar Kakal, who will manage the consulting and systems integration business in addition to his existing role as global head of business IT services. Stephen R Pratt, managing partner for consulting and systems integration, will now have responsibility for utilities and resources and report to Balakrishnan. The changes will become effective from October.

“High-level restructuring is a sign that Infosys is trying to manage aspirations of its senior-level executives, especially after high-level exits,” said Harit Shah, senior research analyst at Nirmal Bang Institutional Equities.

Shah was referring to the recent resignations of board member and Americas head Ashok Vemuri and global sales head Basab Pradhan.

Murthy, who is being assisted by his son and executive assistant Rohan Murty, has said that he wants to build a “desirable” Infosys within three years. He was recalled from retirement after two years of underperformance by India’s second-largest software exporter.

“A few senior leaders have seen their roles enhanced as part of this reorganisation as well as a result of Ashok Vemuri’s resignation,” the company said in an e-mailed response. It did not provide more details.

The founders of Infosys have taken turns as chief executives of the 32-year-old company, not unlike a Swissstyle democracy where ministers take turns being the mountainous country’s president for one year at a time.

People familiar with the mood in the Bangalore-based company said that several senior executives are restless and may consider moving to greener pastures, possibly even mid-sized firms. Recently, Sudhir Chaturvedi, a senior vice president and head of financial services in the Americas, left to join NIIT Technologies as chief operating officer.

“When organisations go through a major overhaul — of the kind Infosys is going through now — they can end up losing some good leaders. I believe Infosys should eventually emerge leaner and stronger,” said CK Guruprasad of executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles. (Source:ET)

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