Speculation is rife that the reign of SD Shibulal as chief executive officer and managing director of Infosys may draw to a close this year, much before his term ends in 2015.
Front-runners for the CEO post are Ashok Vemuri, BG Srinivas and V Balakrishnan (Bala), current board members, according to sources.
"Given the way things are moving within the company, it is quite possible that Infosys will have a new CEO by end of this year," said a senior executive at Infosys requesting anonymity.
An Infosys spokesperson confirmed that the three board members are possible CEO candidates but refused comments on timings. "We have always said that BG, Ashok and Bala are all candidates to be considered for CEO position in future. The board would decide at the appropriate time. SD Shibulal continues as the CEO and managing director of the company," the company spokesperson said.
Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy, who came out of retirment to don the mantle of executive chairman recently, told the company’s annual general meeting that it would take around three years to re-build Infosys, and that the process would involve some tough decisions.
Though he did not spell out strategies, his plain talk was indicative of impending changes.
In fact, the hunt for a new CEO began soon after Murthy returned to the helm. Infosys has also hired executive search firm Egon Zehnder to identify possible external candidates for the position.
"Shibulal is a very good operations person and Murthy may want to utilise his capabilities in a different way. He may want someone else for the CEO’s chair," the executive said.
Though the final choice for the new head is still very much in the air, Balakrishnan, the former chief financial officer, is known to enjoy the complete trust of Murthy, and is believed to be the first among equals for post. Earlier this month, he was given additional responsibility as chairman of Lodestone, the Swiss company that Infosys acquired last September.