Friday 23 February 2018

Warring Infosys on hunt for new chief

The logo of Infosys is pictured inside the company's headquarters in Bengaluru, India. Photo Reuters
The logo of Infosys is pictured inside the company's headquarters in Bengaluru, India. Photo Reuters

Saritha Rai

Infosys begins the search for a new CEO this week with a tough set of requirements for any candidate: the person must be capable of leading a 200,000 employee organisation, willing to tackle sweeping changes in the outsourcing industry and brave enough to drop in the middle of open warfare between the company’s board and co-founders.

The bedlam cost the company its current CEO, Vishal Sikka, who said on Friday he would step aside after escalating criticism from the co-founders over his compensation and strategy.

The board defended Sikka and took the highly unusual step of pointing the finger at ex-chairman Narayana Murthy for what they called his “inappropriate demands”. The billionaire responded with a warning that he would respond “in the right manner” in future .

The hostilities will make it difficult to draw top candidates from outside the company and are likely to increase the chances an internal executive will be elevated to CEO. The Bangalore-based company, India’s second-largest outsourcer with more than $10bn in revenue, also faces deep business challenges, from slowing growth and automation to hostility from the Trump administration.

Shares fell as much as 4.6pc yesterday, after dropping 13pc on Friday and wiping out $3.5bn of market value when Sikka’s departure was announced. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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