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What kind of CEO Infosys chairman Narayana Murthy wants to waltz with?

Jun 02 2014, 16:25 IST
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Infosys CEO search has now become a bit of a catch-22 situation. Infosys CEO search has now become a bit of a catch-22 situation.
SummaryNew Infosys CEO is likely to be someone who enjoys a good equation with Narayana Murthy.

The Infosys CEO search has now become a bit of a catch-22 situation with all possible candidates being mentioned in the run-up to the announcement. All top internal candidates and almost all external possibilities are now being discussed in IT industry circles, but President BG Srinivas’ resignation on Wednesday has now narrowed down those possibilities. It is now fairly clear that the executive search firms, involved in the CEO hunt, has pointed to someone who has taken the wind out of Srinivas’ hopes. On the Infosys earnings day in April, Srinivas exuded confidence and even went on to state that he was happy to be in the race. Now, just a month later, he has found himself a brand new job in Hong Kong!

Following are some of the factors that need to be considered and evaluated. What kind of CEO does Infosys need at this stage of trial? Or more importantly what is the kind of CEO that chairman Narayana Murthy wants to waltz with? While the names of external candidates like Cognizant’s Francisco D’Souza and Malcolm Frank have been tossed around, there is this talk in the industry that the new CEO has already been

chosen. Talk is that the preferred candidate will be someone who enjoys a good equation with Murthy, while also being a soul.

It is unlikely that Murthy would prefer to work with an external candidate who does not understand the cultural ethos at Infosys. It may take him quite a while to blend in. Infosys, which has projected a mere 7-9% revenue growth for FY15, cannot afford to lose time.

So the race has to be between someone who is very palatable to Murthy’s tastes, even if that means an external candidate, or someone whom Murthy can guide and groom into the role if that candidate happens to be an internal one. While it may be difficult to guess who Murthy and the executive search firms have in mind when it comes to external candidates, it is now becoming clear that younger candidates have a better chance as far as internal options go. This is where the name of senior Sandeep Dadlani comes in. He is young and is someone who can be groomed for the job.

Murthy’s second innings at Infosys has been a roller-coaster ride as far as senior management exits are concerned. Potential CEO candidates like former CFO and board member V Balakrishnan,

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