In Infosys shuffle, top executives get more responsibilities3 min read . Updated: 07 Sep 2013, 01:19 AM IST
Infosys redistributed certain roles and handed more responsibilities to executives after last week’s departure of Ashok Vemuri
Bangalore: India’s second-largest software services company Infosys Ltd has handed additional responsibilities to at least four top-level executives as founder and executive chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy, who emerged from retirement in June to revive its flagging fortunes, tries to test the mettle of senior managers and gain time in blooding future leaders.
As part of the reshuffle, consulting and systems integration head Stephen Pratt will oversee the utilities and resources business in North America and report directly to V. Balakrishnan, a board member who heads Infosys BPO, its outsourcing unit, and oversees the Finacle banking software and India business units.
The Infosys Leadership Institute will now report directly to global retail and consumer packaged goods head Pravin Rao.
Business IT services head Chandrashekar Kakal will now, along with his existing responsibilities, head the consulting and systems integration business, which contributes a little more than 30% of the company’s revenue. Country heads in growth markets such as China, Japan, Australia, Middle East, Germany and France will report to life sciences head V. Dheeshjith, as part of the new structure.
Bangalore-based Infosys also redistributed certain roles and handed more responsibilities to executives after last week’s departure of Ashok Vemuri, a former board member and global head of manufacturing and Americas at the company.
Infosys, once regarded as the bellwether of India’s $108-billion information technology sector, has lost that status and is going through an unprecedented organizational overhaul under Murthy, who was recalled from retirement to script a turnaround in its fortunes after the company lost significant market share to faster-growing rivals in the past two years.
Murthy has also reshuffled the company’s executive council, its highest decision making body and named Ranganath D. Mavinakere, Binod Hampapur Rangadore and Nithyanandan Radhakrishnan as the newest members of the council recently. His son Rohan Murty is also set to be appointed as a vice-president at the company, pending approval from the corporate affairs ministry.
“We have undertaken certain reorganization within the company to further improve our client focus and competitiveness. A few senior leaders have seen their roles enhanced as part of this reorganization as well as a result of Ashok Vemuri's resignation," an Infosys spokeswoman said in an email response to queries from Mint.
Friday’s reshuffle hands more power to Balakrishnan, who is widely seen as one of the strongest candidates to take over the role of chief executive officer after co-founder S.D. Shibulal retires from the post in March 2015. After Murthy’s return, Balakrishnan was also appointed head of Lodestone, a company Infosys acquired last year.
“We haven’t seen anything new. I don’t see what is different now from what they were doing six months ago, from a client-facing perspective," said Sudin Apte, founder of outsourcing advisory firm Offshore Insights. “The fundamental problem they face is bringing growth back, which is not visible right now. They need to win clients and large deals to instill some level of confidence."
The restructuring exercise has seen several top-level exits from the company since Murthy’s return in June, most notably Vemuri, who was seen as another strong candidate to take over as the next CEO. Other recent top-level exits include those of former global sales head Basab Pradhan and US financial services head Sudhir Chaturvedi.
“The changes seem a little reactive and not well-planned after Ashok Vemuri's exit," said Ankur Rudra, vice-president at Ambit Capital. “Reactive changes take a while to settle down. Looking at the current restructuring, service lines are getting even more de-emphasized within the organization and there is a clear verticalization of the portfolio."
In his second stint at Infosys in an executive role, Murthy has been quietly putting together a blueprint for Infosys’s revival, including meeting the top 100 clients of Infosys to protect existing contracts and get more business and also aggressively pushing to cut costs, especially the ones linked to doing business at the location of the company’s clients outside India, according to company executives who spoke on condition of anonymity and experts familiar with the discussions.
At the company’s annual shareholder meeting in June, Murthy sought three years from investors to turn around the fortunes of Infosys, which missed the lower end of its revenue forecast twice last year and then stopped giving quarterly guidance.