Nandan Nilekani returns as the non-executive Chairman of Infosys
The Dollar Business Bureau
Nandan Nilekani, is back in Infosys after 8 years of relinquishing his services to the company as its CEO. He has returned torestore the pride and lustre of India’s second-largest software services company, when the board unanimously named him as the non-executive chairman on August 24, 2017.
The appointment is seen as a significant victory for Infosys’ co-founder NR Narayana Murthy who was fighting with the company’s board for months over alleged lapses in corporate governance. This will also calm the nerves of the investors of the company, who have been shocked by the past week’s events, with the resignation of Vishal Sikka as its CEO.
The return of Nilekani, who served as the company’s CEO from 2002 to 2007, marks the second case in the history of Infosys when a retired cofounder returned to steer the IT bellwether out of trouble. Co-founder Narayana Murthy had returned to Infosys in 2013 to steer the corporation out of declining growth.
Prior to Sikka, Infosys had seen R Seshasayee stepping down as the non-executive chairman, Ravi Venkatesan resigning asco-chairman but opting to stay on as independent director on the board. The remaining stalwart UB Pravin Rao remained asthe interim CEO as well as retained his position on the board.
“I am happy to return to Infosys, now in the role of non-executive chairman, and look forward to working with my colleagues on the board and in executive management on the business opportunities we see before us and delivering benefits to our clients, shareholders, employees and communities. I thank Vishal for his service as the CEO of Infosys over the last three years and wish him well in his future endeavors,” Nilekani said in a statement.
The new Infosys chairman said on Friday that his key priorities were to search for a new CEO, reconstitute the board and chart out the company’s future strategy.
“I have come in to focus on the future of the company, I have come in to take the company forward and deal with its challenges,” he told investors, while adding that he would remain with the company as long as he was required.
Nilekani refrained from commenting on the future strategy of Infosys, however, he said that it would be in line with the global developments, while adding that he saw huge opportunities in data, software and machine learning.
He further said that a committee of directors had been created, which will work with the interim CEO and the management for reviewing and reviving the strategy by October.
“I have a very open mind. I will request our strategy team to take a complete inventory of all things that are going on,” he said.
Nilekani also has to tackle the issue of retention of top level executives who are critical about the new strategy.
According to Forbes, Nilekani, along with his family, has a share of 2.3% in Infosys and is worth around $1.72 billion.