Infosys Management Revamp

This article was first published as Infosys Management Revamp on Technorati.

Change is the only constant thing in life.

It was almost two years that a news article on Forbes India caught my eye. Aptly titled - What Will Infy Do After They Are Gone? - the article discussed about a situation at Infosys after NR Narayana Murthy (NRN) and Nandan Nilekani are relieved of their responsibilities.

For the initiated, Infy (NASDAQ:INFY) - short for Infosys Technologies Limited - is the second largest Indian software company. Established 30 years ago as a start up with just 250 USD, it has grown into an organization of more than a hundred thousand employees and 6 Billion USD in revenue.

Infy is long considered as the darling of the Indian stock market. It was the first Indian company to list on NASDAQ.

Infy was co founded by NRN and his team of six members. While NRN was the CEO right from its inception till March 2002, Nandan took over the reins between March 2002 and April 2007. In April 2007, Kris Gopalakrishnan took over as the CEO while Nandan became the co-chairman. All along, the founders have been the CEO.

Since then the situation has changed dramatically at Infy. NRN retired and has been the Chairman for the last five years. Nandan left Infy to be a part of Government of India in their ambitious Unique Identification Document Project. 

NRN's tenure as the chairman is slated to end on 20th August, 2011, when he completes 65 years. And the question plaguing everyone's mind in the business world was - who will guide Infy after NRN retires as the chairman?

In my earlier blog post - written almost 8 months back - I discussed about the aspects of Succession. It discussed about two critical aspects - choosing the successor and implementing a transition. It was in the context of two of India's most cherished organizations - Infosys and Tata Group - looking for successors.

Well, the questions for Infy were answered today (30th April 2011). After a board meeting at its headquarters in Bangalore, India - Infosys made some key announcements.
    • NRN will be Chairman Emeritus. 
    • KV Kamath (ex-CEO of ICICI Bank and Member of Board, Infosys) will be the Chairman. 
      • Kris Gopalakrishnan (current CEO of Infosys) will be the co-chairman. 
      • SD Shibulal (current COO of Infosys) will be the new CEO. 
        • All these transitions are slated to be effective on 21st August 2011.
            In a press conference after the board meeting, NRN made these announcements with his trademark confidence. All these appointments were unanimously approved by the Board of Infosys after a recommendation by the Nominations committee comprising of three distinguished Board member (later trimmed to two, since KV Kamath was a member of this committee too).

            In true NRN style, he backed his team to the zilch. He spoke about Kamath's leadership excellence, Kris' great work at Infosys for the past thirty years and importantly during the economic recession, and his support for Shibulal in becoming the CEO of Infosys.

            NR Narayana Murthy - Chairman Emeritus
            He also said that he will be available to the Board, to the leadership team, and to every single Infoscion (as the people working at Infy are known) for his guidance. This in effect means that employees can still reach out to him for advice. He is like a Pole Star to them.

            KV Kamath is a pioneer who transformed ICICI from being an industrial credit organization to an universal bank. Today, ICICI is the second biggest bank in India. He accepted his new appointment with humility and looked forward to taking Infosys to the next level. 

            KV Kamath - New Chairman Infosys
            Kamath is also the chairman of ICICI Bank and would continue to do so after his new appointment. He received a very strong recommendation from Chanda Kochar, the current CEO of ICICI Bank,  who was mentored by Kamath. 

            She said "It is extraordinary for Kamath to be a non-executive of two leading companies. He brought technological revolution to the entire banking industry and I am sure that he will bring fresh perspective for Infosys as well.

            With Kamath being a non-founder, the board also decided to have Kris as the co-chairman. Kris being one of the co-founders of the organization is expected to bring a balanced view in the Chair. Being the CEO currently, he is in the thick of the things in running the business and is expected to be doing so in his new role.

            Kris Gopalakrishnan - New Co-Chairman Infosys
            It will be worthwhile to note that Kris steered Infy in the tough times of recession. And in the past three years, revenues at Infosys have doubled from 3 Billion USD to 6 Billion USD - a very significant achievement.

            Shibu - as Shibulal is commonly known - has been the COO of Infy since April 2007. He has been in charge of managing the day to day running of the company. In NRN's own words, Shibu exceeded the expectation of the Board in his COO role. And with Kris becoming the co-chairman, Shibu has been elevated to be the CEO. Shibu also has been a co-founder. 

            SD Shibulal - New CEO Infosys
            In his speech today, Shibu spoke about building Infosys 3.0 (broadly revolving around strengthening the strategic partnership with the clients, creating client relevance, and evolving Infy's business model). He spoke about how the organization is committed in helping clients in Building Tomorrow's Enterprise

            Infy also announced that three employees will be elevated to the Board. While speculation is rife that some of the members of the Executive Council will become Board members, Infy officially declined to comment on the matter stating it was too early.

            Kris also added that the company name itself would be renamed to align itself with the 3.0 vision. Infosys Technologies Limited will now be christened as Infosys Limited. 

            This is to showcase that Infosys is not limited to being a technology company, but an organization which provides a vast array of services - from consulting to IT services, from Engineering services to Cloud+services, and from  Business Process Outsourcing services to a range of Products and Platforms.

            Coming back to where we started, Change is the only constant thing in life. For an organization as mammoth and  respected as Infosys, such changes will be watched with a hawk's eye. 

            Infosys, as an organization, has always prided upon its delivery and execution excellence. And the stakeholders, shareholders and the business world will strongly hope that Infosys manages this transformation beautifully and does what it always has been doing - setting benchmarks.
            Infosys Management Revamp Infosys Management Revamp Reviewed by Vyankatesh on Sunday, May 01, 2011 Rating: 5


            1. I hope so too that Infy continues to do well

              Thanks for visiting my blog and ya the Colosseum is massive and very grand

            2. Good to know info:)

            3. Thanks Shuchita and Nehaa.

              I too hope that Infy does very well.