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Rediff.com  » Business » Next Infosys chairman to be from within, hints Gopalakrishnan

Next Infosys chairman to be from within, hints Gopalakrishnan

Last updated on: September 1, 2010 10:32 IST

Next Infosys chairman to be from within, hints Gopalakrishnan

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Bibhu Ranjan Mishra in Bangalore


Infosys Technologies, India's second-largest IT services firm, appears set on having an insider as its chairman when N R Narayana Murthy retires in August next year.

While the final call will be taken by the board in January, Infosys Managing Director and CEO S (Kris) Gopalakrishnan hinted that the company has enough 'depth of leadership'.

To a specific question on whether the next chairman would be an insider, Gopalakrishnan told Business Standard in an exclusive interview that "if there is somebody coming from outside, either there is a failure inside in identifying the right leaders, or it's a new area where we don't have the expertise inside".

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Image: Infosys co-founder and CEO S 'Kris' Gopalakrishnan.
Photographs: Reuters
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He was, however, quick to clarify that he was talking about executive roles in the company.

Asked whether there is a possibility of him taking on the role of executive chairman, Gopalakrishnan said: "It will depend on what the board decides. These are not individual decisions. All I can say is that we have created an executive council and we have a depth of leadership within the company. We have clearly said that this company will make the transition to the next generation of leaders. At what time, who, etc, will be announced at the appropriate time."

With Murthy's retirement approaching, there has been speculation about his successor. K V Kamath , one of the members of the company's nomination committee, was said to be under consideration. However, Kamath has dismissed such talk.

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Image: Infosys co-founder, chief mentor and chairman N R Narayana Murthy.
Photographs: Rediff Archive
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Next Infosys chairman to be from within, hints Gopalakrishnan

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Gopalakrishnan's candidature has also been doing the rounds. He is among the group that co-founded the company almost 30 years ago. Such an elevation would open up the CEO and MD's position, for which present COO S D Shibulal is said to be in waiting.

"Any conclusion about Murthy's successor at this point is speculative. The nomination committee has not decided anything. It has started the process and probably in the January board meeting, it will discuss it and decide. We have one more year left," said a company source.


Image: The Infosys co-founders.
Photographs: Courtesy, Infosys Technologies.
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