Infosys swaps roles of two top execs; grooming process seen

Information technology services major Infosys Technologies has decided to swap the roles of its two most senior executives as it trains its next set of leaders to take on a wider set of responsibilities.

Ashok Vemuri, head of the firm's banking, finance and insurance (BFSI) vertical, will move to head the manufacturing and engineering business and B G Srinivas, who currently looks after that department, will move into Vemuri's role. The changes are effective from 1 April.

Vemuri and Srinivas, both members of the Infosys board of directors, would continue with their existing regional leadership responsibilities for the Americas and Europe respectively.

Vemuri and Srinivas handle the two largest businesses at Infosys, and industry watchers believe this move is a  prelude to naming one of them as the next chief executive officer after current incumbent S D Shibulal retires in 2015. Vemuri and Srinivas, along with chief financial officer V Balakrishnan, were inducted to the company's board late last year.

Kris Gopalakrishnan, executive co-chairman of Infosys, told The Times of India that the reshuffle is aimed at giving multi-domain exposure to these two leaders, because such experience is critical for top leaders. The change will bring cross-industry perspectives to accelerate transformation and innovation for clients, he said.

"It is a positive move and it is not based on the individual performance of Ashok or Srinivas or the performance of the spaces they are handling. Senior executives should be much more than just domain experts. They are expected to be general managers with experience in multiple domains and exposure to a broad base of client organisations,'' said Gopalakrishnan.