CEO front runner BG Srinivas quits, Cognizant's Frank to lead Infosys? | business | Hindustan Times
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CEO front runner BG Srinivas quits, Cognizant's Frank to lead Infosys?

In an unexpected turn of events, Infosys board member and president BG Srinivas, considered a front runner for the CEO position, has quit. This is the tenth top-level exit from the Bangalore-based company since the return of co-founder NR Narayana Murthy.

business Updated: May 29, 2014 13:35 IST
Arnab Mitra

Infosys board member and president BG Srinivas resigned from the company on Wednesday soon after global search firm Egon Zehnder reportedly recommended the name of Malcolm Frank, currently executive vice-president, strategy and marketing at Cognizant, for the position of CEO, sources close to the development told HT.

Srinivas was a frontrunner to succeed SD Shibulal, who will retire as CEO of Infosys in January next year. Barring a lastminute hitch, Frank will now get that job.

The nominations committee of the Infosys board — comprising independent directors KV Kamath, non-executive chairman of ICICI Bank, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, CMD of Biocon, and R Seshasayee, non-executive VC of Ashok Leyland — which will take the final decision, has not yet formally cleared Frank’s appointment.

But they are likely to do so as his is reportedly the only name on the list. Frank will be Infosys’s fifth CEO and the first non-promoter in that position. Co-founders NR Narayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani and Kris Gopalakrishnan were CEOs before Shibulal. Frank could not be contacted for his comments. HT had first reported on May 9, 2014 that several large shareholders wanted an outsider to lead the company.

Over the past year, 11 senior executives, among them several CEO hopefuls, have quit the company. The sources said more senior level exits are likely once Frank’s name is announced.

Infosys, the erstwhile IT bellwether, has fallen behind its rivals in growth rates. It has watched helplessly as Congizant overtook it in revenues.

Murthy, who returned from retirement to lead Infosys in June last year, had pushed the appointment of leading HR consultancy firm Egon Zehnder to conduct a global search for a suitable candidate to succeed Shibulal. Several internal candidates, including Srinivas, were in the running.

“The board and every Infoscion thank BG Srinivas for his wonderful contribution and wish him great success in his future endeavours,” an Infosys release quoted Murthy as saying.

“I thank Infosys for the wonderful opportunity given to me... I wish Infosys the best of success in the future,” Srinivas said.