Balakrishnan latest casualty of Murthy's return to Infosys
21 December 2013
The return of N R Narayana Murthy at the helm of Infosys, with son Rohan in tow, has seen a spate of exits in the senior management; the latest being senior director V Balakrishnan, who put in his papers on Friday.
This is the eighth high-profile exit from Infosys since co-founder Murthy returned as executive chairman. Balakrishnan was head of Infosys BPO, Finacle, and the India Business Unit, and chairman of Infosys Lodestone. He was seen as a potential successor to chief executive officer S D Shibulal, who will retire in 2015.
Balakrishnan joined Infosys in 199. The resignation is effective 31 December 2013, Infosys said in a statement.
Balakrishnan will now join five other software industry veterans and entrepreneurs to back the Exfinity fund, which will support more than a dozen early-stage companies in emerging technology areas such as data analytics and security.
The others supporting Exfinity are Mohandas Pai, a former Infosys chief financial officer who is now the chairman of Manipal Education Group; former Wipro chief executive Girish Paranjpe; former iFlex Solutions chief executive Deepak Ghaisas; startup investor Rajiv Kuchhal; and Sunil Mantri, chairman of real-estate firm Mantri Realities. Each of them has contributed Rs20 crore.
Balakrishnan played down talk that Rohan's role in the organisation has created friction in the top management of Infosys. "Rohan's future role in Infosys should not be a cause of concern to anyone," he said.
Balakrishnan, who sold 1 lakh shares of the company on 6-7 November that fetched him Rs33 crore, said that he had been thinking of stepping down for a long time and had detailed discussions with Murthy on the issue.
Biocon chairperson and managing director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, who was inducted into the Infosys board as an independent member on Friday, told a news channel that these exits are part of the big changes happening at Infosys after Murthy's return, and insisted there is no cause for concern.
Meanwhile, U B Pravin Rao has been inducted as a whole-time director. Rao is currently a member of the executive council, senior vice-president and global head of retail, consumer packaged goods, logistics and life sciences.