|Mumbai | Bengaluru: Former Infosys executives BG Srinivas and Ashok Vemuri are the frontrunners to be the IT company's chief executive, even as the firm explores creating a deputy CEO role to ensure management continuity, said people with knowledge of the matter.|
The Bengaluru-headquartered company is not having an easy time picking a new leader after former CEO Vishal Sikka resigned in August following a bruising battle with founder NR Narayana Murthy over corporate governance issues. Cofounder Nandan Nilekani returned to the company as non-executive chairman to steady operations.
Infosys has interviewed a slew of candidates, including some executives from Oracle and Google, a top company executive said.
"It's not an easy task for the board. There are various ifs and buts that come up when a candidate is discussed. The problem in Infosys is that the company is seen as having multiple power centres. While Nilekani has acceptance, he is seen as a founder. The board, which was redone recently, has older and new members who have seen the turmoil over several management changes," he said.
"Several candidates want assurance of non-interference by the founders." Candidates are also concerned about the reputation risks that would be involved in managing the company after Sikka faced fire for the Panaya acquisition and other operational decisions, he said.
According to an external consultant who has worked closely with Infosys for several years, Sikka was perhaps the last chance the company had of attracting outside talent for the top job. Two prospects cited promoter-interference and operational mess as reasons to not consider applying for the post of Infosys CEO, he said.
This has required Infosys to look at the Infosys alumni for potential candidates.
Srinivas, who is group managing director at Hong Kong-listed PCCW Ltd, was a president at Infosys when he left the company in 2014 and had extensive experience in its Europe business as well as in manufacturing and engineering services.