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Ex-Satyam BPO chief in contention for CEO post

Bibhu Ranjan Mishra in Bangalore | January 19, 2009 09:01 IST

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Even as the buzz around Vivel Paul's candidature as CEO is still doing the rounds at Satyam Computer Services [Get Quote], insiders say the government is considering a person who was an integral part of the company till three months ago.

The name of Venkatesh Roddam, former CEO of Satyam's BPO subsidiary Nipuna, is being seriously considered, since Paul is not keen to return to India, according to highly-placed sources. The search for a CEO has been following founder Ramalinga Raju's disclosures of financial fraud January 7 and his subsequent arrest.

Roddam, who is taking a break from corporate life and lives in Hyderabad, said: "I'm not too sure what is happening. I am getting calls from close friends and relatives who are asking me about this."

Roddam did not, however, offer a direct reply when he was asked if he was interested in the post but suggested he was not averse to it either. "It is a fantastic company to work with. It's an interesting and challenging role. They have a competent board now, to provide all kinds of support," said Roddam who worked for Nipuna for about three years.

Last week, Business Standard reported that the government had exhorted the new board, whose six members it has nominated, to look within the company or identify a person who knew Satyam's operations well, for the post of CEO and CFO.

Roddam was reportedly a natural choice because of his association with Satyam and Raju, who had recruited him directly. Roddam is an MBA and has spent 18 of his 21-year professional career in financial services and banking in India and overseas. Before joining Nipuna as CEO, Roddam worked with Deutsche Bank for almost nine years based in Frankfurt.

Roddam resigned from Nipuna towards the end of September last year when several other senior executives, including Satyam's chief strategy officer Shailesh Shah, also resigned.

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