Infosys could have foreign CEO in 2-3 years: BNP Paribas

Information technology bellwether Infosys Technologies could have its first non-founding and non-Indian chief executive officer in the next two to three years, according to a BNP Paribas report titled, "Don't fix it if it ain't broken".

The report speculates that Steve Pratt, present chief executive of Infosys Consulting, could step into that role. This will break tradition at Infosys where the chief operating officer has always gone on to become chief executive officer.

Current chairman N R Narayana Murthy is due to retire in August. It has been speculated that chief executive officer S Gopalakrishnan may step into that role, while COO and co-founder S D Shibulal will take over as CEO from Gopalakrishnan. The BNP Paribas report says such a transition is a possibility.

However, the report adds that 56-year-old Shibulal might play a transition role for the eventual handover of the CEO role to the company's first non-founder CEO two years later.

The BNP Paribas views are that of an analyst and not part of any management briefing, it clarifies. Analysts have spent considerable time making predictions on Infosys's internal rejig that is in the offing.

On being asked about the possibility of a non-Indian like Pratt taking over as the CEO, T V Mohandas Pai, the head of human resources at Infosys, said the company would not like to comment on unsubstantiated speculations.