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Infosys, which is in the midst of a major management overhaul, is likely to opt for an internal candidate as the next chief executive officer (CEO), keeping aside its plan of scouting for an outsider to lead its over $7-billion operations. The chances of opting for an internal candidate as the next CEO of India’s second largest IT services exporter is becoming stronger as the company plans to maintain the continuity in management rather than disturb this balance, sources aware of the developments told FE.
Though CEO SD Shibulal's term ends only in 2015, the search for next the chief executive is a long-drawn-out process and multiple options are evaluated. Sources said it would be difficult for an external candidate to fit into the company’s culture. “Any external candidate as CEO will require a minimum of 10 months to understand the culture of Infosys and the company cannot afford such luxury in these times,” the source said.
Given the rapidly changing scenario of the global IT industry and competition intensifying, it would be challenging for a company like Infosys to lose time in such management transition. Infosys also faces serious competition from Nasdaq-listed Cognizant, which has overtaken it in terms of dollar revenue growth. Sources said any external candidate will also have to deal with a strong personality like executive chairman NR Narayana Murthy, who has an iconic status in the Indian IT industry.
Earlier, there were reports that Infosys had appointed global executive headhunting firms to scout for external candidates for the CEO’s post. It was understood that Murthy had also begun certain informal talks with some of them, though the identity of the candidates was not known.
The option of an internal candidate also takes credence with the developments within Infosys after Murthy returned as the executive chairman from June 1. Since then, Infosys has witnessed three high-level exits, including board member Ashok Vemuri, considered to be a key contender for the CEO’s post after Shibulal.
His exit follows that of senior vice-president and head of global sales and marketing Basab Pradhan in July. In August, financial services head for the Americas Sudhir Chaturvedi had quit.
An Infosys official said the decentralisation initiative was Vemuri’s brainchild and he got support from Shibulal. “With Murthy centralising the decision-making and shelving Vemuri’s plan to give greater autonomy and bring accountability to business