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Infosys saw one more high-profile exit on Friday, with V Balakrishnan, board member and former CFO, quitting the company, reports fe Bureau in Bangalore. The announcement was surprising since Balakrishnan was widely tipped to be the next chief executive. For Balakrishnan, considered Murthy’s “blue-eyed boy”, the veteran's return was seen as a big opportunity to move up. In fact, many were expecting that he would one day step into the corner office at Infosys. However, several sources indicated that Bala’s departure had not been smooth and that the development was related to succession planning.
Sources said that while Murthy was keen to offer Bala a larger role, perhaps that of the chief operating officer or president, this was apparently objected to by certain board members. The Bangalore-headquartered firm has seen a string of top-level exits since June after NR Narayana Murthy returned as executive chairman.
Several analysts have, however, upgraded the Infosys stock after the $7-billion player turned in a reasonably good set of numbers for the second quarter. The stock has run up sharply and commands a market capitalisation of over Rs 2 lakh crore.
Balakrishnan was playing a key role in the company even after stepping down as CFO.
He was given additional responsibilities of heading key verticals such as utilities and resources in North America, the firm's largest market.
Talking to FE, Balakrishnan said, "I have been thinking about it ever since I gave up the role of CFO. I would now like to work with young entrepreneurs and will launch a new private equity fund that invests in the technology space."
The new fund, to be called Exfinity, will have a corpus of Rs 100-125 crore. Other members of the fund include TV Mohandas Pai, former board member of Infosys, Girish Paranjpe, former joint CEO of Wipro and Deepak Ghaisas, former i-Flex Solutions CEO.
Murthy, executive chairman, Infosys said, “Bala has been an early adopter and a keen anchor-builder of Infosys. It is difficult to imagine Infosys without Bala’s passion, commitment, and intellect. The board and every Infoscion thank Bala for his wonderful contribution and wish him great success in his future endeavours."
Balakrishnan, who was the head of Infosys BPO, Finacle and India business unit, was appointed as the chairman of its European subsidiary Infosys Lodestone early this year replacing fellow board member BG Srinivas. His resignation will be effective December 31, the IT major said in a statement.