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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

Pai quits, markets scream on below-par results

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 15, 2011
First Published: 20:59 IST(15/4/2011) | Last Updated: 02:35 IST(16/4/2011)

India’s second-largest software services company Infosys on Friday announced major changes on its board with two of its key executives — human resources chief TV Mohandas Pai and co-founder K Dinesh — quitting the company shortly after the board meeting that approved the annual results for 2010-11.

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The unexpected resignation of Pai triggered a speculation about possible differences over the expected leadership changes at Infosys — a company that has fuelled aspiration among thousands of middle-class families.

Changes at the top management are expected to be announced on April 30.

Pai maintained that his decision to quit after 17 years in the company was based on personal plans to farm into new areas including higher education ( see interview).

There was speculation, however, about a growing rift between Pai and current chief operating officer (COO) SD Shibulal, who is strongly tipped to take over as the new CEO from S Gopalakrishnan.

“TV Mohandas Pai has decided to relinquish the position of Member of the Board,” Infosys said in its statement. The board has accepted the decision, it said.

K Dinesh — who co-founded Infosys along with NR Naryana Murthy and others — was to retire by rotation in June this year. He decided not to seek a re-election.

Ravi Venkatesan, former chairman of Microsoft India, has been inducted to the Board as an additional director.

Chairman and chief mentor Naryana Murthy dismissed rumours of differences on leadership transition as untrue.

“That (rift) is completely incorrect. He (Pai) has been discussing this decision for quite some time now,” Narayana Murthy told HT.

CEO S Gopalakrishnan echoed similar views.

“Pai’s decision to quit has not been prompted by any succession plan,” Gopalakrishnan said.

Analysts do not expect the leadership transition to have any major impact on the company’s growth prospects. “We do not expect any significant shift in the market momentum,” said Vikash Jain, partner, Everest Group.

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