As K V Kamath heads to BRICS bank, his Infosys post up for grabs

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Bangalore | Updated: May 12, 2015 10:30 AM

KV Kamath was on Monday appointed as head of the $100-billion New Development Bank (NDB) being set up by the five emerging economies of BRICS grouping.

K V KamathProminent banker and non-executive chairman of India’s second largest software exporter Infosys, KV Kamath was on Monday appointed as the first president of BRICS bank. (Reuters)

The appointment of veteran banker KV Kamath as the first head of the newly created BRICS bank leaves the door open for a new chairman at Infosys.

Kamath, who is currently non-executive chairman at Infosys, will probably have to relinquish this responsibility before taking up the new assignment. He is also non-executive chairman of ICICI Bank.

The 10-member board of Infosys comprises two company executives — CEO Vishal Sikka and COO UB Pravin Rao — the rest being independent directors.

An email to Infosys seeking information on these likely changes did not elicit a reply.

Independent board member R Seshasayee, who is executive vice-chairman of Ashok Leyland, is one of the strong contenders for the chairman’s post at Infosys. Besides, there is also the possibility of Jeffrey Sean Lehman, another independent director, taking up this role.

At the same time, there is also the possibility of Infosys scouting for an outsider to take over the chairman’s role. The name doing the rounds is that of a former chairman with a FMCG company.

Sources indicated that it is unlikely that Infosys would opt for somebody from the technology industry and would look for a person well-connected in broader business circles. The appointment of a new chairman would herald another change at Infosys, now being steered by Vishal Sikka.

Kamath, who joined the Infosys board in 2009 and first took over as chairman in 2011, was one of the key persons behind the appointment of Sikka as the first outsider CEO. He briefly stepped down as chairman of the company when NR Narayana Murthy came back into active role in June, 2013 and left in August 2014.

Infosys ended FY15 with a revenue of Rs 53,319 crore recording growth of 6.4%. Net profit during this period was Rs 12,239 crore, showing a rise of 15.8%. The company has declared an aspirational target of $20 billion in revenue by 2020 from the current level of $8.7 billion.

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