India’s second largest software services firm Infosys Technologies on Friday announced lower-than-expected results for the quarter ended March 31 amid looming uncertainty over leadership changes after human resources chief TV Mohandas Pai quit the board, a move that caught analysts and stock markets by surprise.
Former Microsoft India chairman Ravi Venkatesan was inducted on the board as an additional director following the resignations of Pai and K Dinesh, one of the company's six co-founders from the Board.
The company’s stock crashed 9.6% to close at R2,988 after the IT major announced a muted 13.6% growth in net profits at R1,818 crore for the January-March quarter. This was the biggest single-day fall in almost two years in the IT bellwether's share price.
The unexpected resignation of Pai, after 17 years in the company, triggered speculation about possible differences over the leadership changes, expected to be announced on April 30. Chief operating officer SD Shibulal is tipped to take over as the new CEO from S Gopalakrishnan.
Pai refuted rumours that he has had any differences with Shibulal. “This is completely incorrect,” he told HT. “I fully support Shibulal’s elevation as CEO.” He said that his decision to quit was based on personal plans to farm into new areas.
Infosys chairman and chief mentor Naryana Murthy, too, dismissed rumours of differences. “He (Pai) has been discussing this decision for quite some time now,” he told HT.