N R Narayana Murthy, executive chairman of Infosys, appeared before the media almost six months after he returned to the Bangalore-based company, junking his retirement.
Here is what he said on his role, retirement plans and the direction the company is heading for, among others. Edited excerpts:
On the possibility of son Rohan Murty playing a CEO role:
Rohan is assisting me in my office and doing a brilliant job. I'm grateful to him. But what he wants to do is a decision that's left to him, considering he is 30 years old.
What position he will hold in Infosys is not for me to decide. All those are completely speculative.
On spate of senior exits:
Infosys was the first Indian company to start a Leadership Institute, in Mysore in 2000. We realised the importance of developing a large cadre of leaders.
We picked a well-known academician-cum-practitioner to become the first director. We have three tiers of leaders, of 600 or so.
Therefore, for a company that has focused so much on leadership, it’s sad to see many excellent people leave the company for various reasons...The beauty of the company is that it has a large cadre of leaders.
We are very, very confident that this company has a strong cadre of leaders and that will not be my worry at all.
On his retirement plans:
I have been invited by the board of directors to add value to the company for a term of five years. Therefore, I have to spend every minute of mine so that the company discharges its obligation to every stakeholder.
At a point when the board is satisfied that the management team, of whom I happen to be one cog in the wheel, has done it to their satisfaction, I am sure they will allow me to go back to the retired life, which is clearly something I deserve.
Therefore, I don’t want to say when and how. It's entirely left to the board and management how well we satisfy the aspirations of stakeholders.
On internal versus external CEO candidates:
A group of senior people went into deep deliberations to arrive at the ‘two presidents’ structure. At this point, seeing what the environment is, and looking at various parameters of success for the company, this is the best structure.
It also helps the nominations committee to create an internal platform of a candidate that could be looked at to decide on the next CEO.
In the event, if there is an outside candidate who will be chosen as the CEO, this is not for me to decide…All of us would like one of these two people (B G Srinivas and U B Pravin Rao) to become the next leader, after Shibulal. But, that’s for the nomination committee to decide.