People who left Infosys were dead wood, says Murthy

20 February 2014

N R Narayana Murthy, the executive chairman of Indian software services major Infosys Ltd, on Wednesday sought to defend his company from insinuations that his resumption at the helm of the company had resulted in a large number of top executives leaving, hinting that most of them were not performing well.

Talking to investors at the Bank of America Merril Lynch India conference in Mumbai, Murthy said most of the people who had left were being paid large salaries without ''adding value''. He added that he would continue wielding the axe on other non-performing executives.

In a telling comment, Murthy also said that the company would have a new chief executive to replace him by March 2015.

Murthy was dragged back from retirement by the board of the company he founded in June last year, as Infosys in his absence was in danger of becoming a second-rung player in the market with increasingly poor bottomlines.

"One of my tasks was to ensure that the identified people who were receiving very high salaries but were not contributing as much as we wanted, were either given opportunities where they can add value to the company or they could seek opportunities elsewhere," he told the gathering of analysts.

"Our costs have ballooned very rapidly in the last 2-3 years. For example, on-site compensation was 36 per cent of the overall revenue in 2010-11 and it went up to 46.3 per cent in 2012-13.

''A part of it was because we hired people at high salaries outside India and these people did not add value to the company," he said.

Murthy said the company is undertaking various initiatives to increase employee productivity and would continue to focus on reducing on-site costs by shifting more work offshore.

"Our desire is that Infosys should get back to industry leading growth rates. What that growth rate will be is something that we will tell you as we move forward," he said.

After Murthy's return, he initiated a major organisational restructuring which saw eight top-level exits, including that of Americas head Ashok Vemuri and BPO head V Balakrishnan in the past six months.

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