NR Narayana Murthy's words fail to lure ex-employees of Infosys

Bangalore | Updated: Aug 27 2013, 18:52pm hrs
Narayana MurthyIn June, FE was the first to report that Narayana Murthy was wooing back some of the senior-level executives who had left the IT major recently to join rival firms.
Infosys executive chairman NR Narayana Murthy's attempt to woo back his former senior-level employees has received a lukewarm response, mainly due to the sensitive issue of compensation packages.

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The former employees were enthused about Murthy making personal telephone calls, but the euphoria withered away when they were asked to come back to Infosys at the same salary they had left the IT major, sources told FE.

Some of us were asked to come back at old salary packages and many have refused, said a former executive who was also part of the discussions. The rationale given to these ex-employees was that their profile and progression in the IT industry was largely due to their experience of working with Infosys, and that they should show gratitude by coming back at lower salaries.

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This has not gone down well with many of the former employees, especially in an industry where people with experience in sales and marketing are in demand.

In June, FE was the first to report that Murthy was wooing back some of the senior-level executives who had left the IT major recently to join rival firms. Since taking charge of the companys operations on June 1, Narayana Murthy has begun reaching out to former employees, particularly those involved with sales. The executive chairman has collected data on many of those people, especially at the senior level, who left Infosys in the last one year.

Over the last two years, there has been exodus at the top, with names such as Shaji Farooq, head of the banking and capital markets division in the US, leaving the company and joining its rival Wipro. Subash Dhar, sales head, and Ritesh Idani, COO of the BPO operations, too, have moved on.

Farooq, who spent over 10 years with Infosys, joined Wipro in a new role altogether. The exact reason for his leaving the company was not known, though it is attributed to the various changes that Infosys has brought in its financial services division, the highest contributor to its overall revenues. There have been other mid-level exits from this segment in the last one year.

The Bangalore-headquartered IT firm, known for its strength in sales and branding, has been fast slipping in this area over the last several quarters, which coincides with top-ranking employees from the sales team leaving and joining rival companies such as Wipro and Tata Consultancy Services.

Murthy, known for his skills in the area of sales and inter-personal relations, is expected to work on forging closer relationships with customers. Since taking over the reins at Infosys once again, Murthy has relied more on insiders who could be termed as old-timers. He has also not brought in any high- profile executive into the organisation yet.

Last week, the IT major appointed three senior officials to the company's executive council. Two of them, Ranganath D Mavinakere and Binod Hampapur Rangadore, are part of executive chairman N R Narayana Murthy's office while Nithyanandan Radhakrishnan is a senior vice-president and general counsel of the company.

Mavinakere currently heads the cost-optimisation initiative in the chairman's office and was previously the company's chief risk officer. Rangadore heads the new global delivery model initiative at Murthy's office and was previously head of the India business unit.

PP Thimmaya & Debojyoti Ghosh