In the first major change after NR Narayana Murthy returned to Infosys as its executive chairman, the company on Tuesday said it had appointed V Balakrishnan as chairman of Lodestone, the Swiss consulting firm it acquired last September, in a signal of management changes expected to revive the sagging fortunes of India's second largest software company.
Balakrishnan was formerly the chief financial officer of Infosys, and had stepped down a month after the deal, while continuing as a board member.
His new role is a small but significant one as major management changes are expected in the wake of its founder-chairman's comeback.
Senior executives at the company feel that the appointment of Bala, as Balakrishnan is popularly known, carries a clear endorsement from Murthy, whose trust he is known to enjoy.
Murthy had begun taking active interest in company's affairs over the last couple of months after he made up his mind to come back as executive chairman and it was during this time that Bala's appointment got the nod. "The date of Bala's appointment is only a technical issue. Murthy insisted that Bala be given charge of Lodestone," said an Infosys executive.
Officially, Infosys did not comment on the date of Bala's appointment, and only said: "V Balakrishnan has been appointed the chairman of Lodestone and BG Srinivas will continue to be a key member of the board of Lodestone. This move is part of the regular re-allocation of portfolios to meet the company's strategic objectives."
Lodestone is seen as crucial for Infosys spreading its footprint across Europe, and Murthy wanted a man whom
he can trust upon for the crucial role.
Infosys acquired Lodestone last September for $350 million (R1,975 crore). Infosys derives around 23% of revenues from Europe, while its long term target is to get close to 40% revenues from the continent.