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More exits likely at Infosys as expat head looms

business Updated: May 31, 2014 00:14 IST
Vivek Sinha

A day after its president and board member BG Srinivas put in his papers, software major Infosys is likely to see more senior staff members put in their papers, miffed at being overlooked for the chief executive’s chair as it has become apparent that the position is likely to go to an outsider.

Srinivas was considered the front-runner for the CEO’s post.

Other internal candidates who would have fancied their chances for the CEO’s post include Sandeep Dadlani and UB Pravin Rao. While Dadlani is the global head of retail and logistics businesses, Rao is executive president.

Infosys began looking for a replacement for the current CEO, one of the company’s founders, SD Shibulal, who is set to retire next January.

Infosys has been under pressure from institutional investors to name an outsider for the CEO’s post. Industry sources said Egon Zehnder, the executive search firm entrusted the task of finding a suitable candidate, has made its choice in the form of Malcolm Frank, executive vice-president of strategy at Cognizant.

"The second rung of leadership at Infosys had been nurturing ambitions to get a chance someday to lead the company, but with an outsider expected to takeover as CEO, they feel they may have hit the glass ceiling. They are likely to quit," said an industry insider, requesting anonymity. He refused to divulge the names of such disgruntled employees.

Terming the speculation of further exodus as ‘baseless’, an Infosys spokesperson said, "We do not comment on such rumours."

Ever since company co-founder and first CEO NR Narayana Murthy returned to Infosys in July last year, the company has seen a series of top-level exits that include, apart from BG Srinivas, Ashok Vemuri, V Balakrishnan and Mohandas Pai, all of whom nurtured ambitions of heading the company.

Murthy was drafted back into the fold by institutional investors as the company floundered in a changing global IT landscape, with TCS, Cognizant, HCL Tech and Wipro making huge strides at its expense.