In an unexpected turn of events, Infosys Board Member and President B G Srinivas, considered a front runner for the CEO position, has quit.
The resignation of Srinivas, who led key portfolios including financial services, manufacturing and public services, will be effective June 10.
This is the tenth top-level exit from the Bangalore-based company since the return of co-founder NR Narayana Murthy at the helm of affairs in June last year.
Srinivas and U B Pravin Rao, both Presidents and Board Members, were considered to be among the top contenders for the job of CEO when S D Shibhulal retires by January 9, 2015.
Srinivas, who joined Infosys in 1999, was elevated to the post of President earlier this year in January.
Infosys in a statement said: “The Board of Directors placed on record their deep sense of appreciation for the services rendered by BG Srinivas during his tenure as Member of the Board and for his contribution to the company.”
Murthy was called back from retirement to head the firm and put it back on a high-growth trajectory at a time when peers like TCS and HCL Tech were out-performing Infosys.
Another CEO contender V Balakrishnan, its former CFO and Lodestone Head, had quit in December last year to pursue political aspirations.
In March this year, Infosys Operational Head (India business unit) Chandrashekar Kakal resigned from the country’s second largest software services exporter. He has now joined L&T Infotech as COO.
While Infosys global sales head Basab Pradhan quit in July 2013, Infosys’ global manufacturing head Ashok Vemuri resigned in August to join rival iGate as CEO. Stephen Pratt, who co-founded Infosys Consulting, quit in November 2013.
Other exits include Infosys Australia Head BPO Sales Kartik Jayaraman, BPO Head Latin America Humberto Andrade and Financial Services Head Americas Sudhir Chaturvedi.
Murthy, who returned as executive chairman, has been making a series of changes at Infosys, including cutting costs at on-site work locations and shifting focus to large deals.
On Srivinas’ exit, Murthy said: “Srinivas has been an integral part of Infosys and has played an important role in the company’s growth.”
The Bangalore-based firm has started the search for his successor and has hired Egon Zehnder, an executive search firm, to assist the nominations committee of the board of directors in identifying external candidates.
Announcing that Nominations Committee of the company’s Board of Directors has begun the search to select the successor to Shibulal, Infosys in April had said the panel would shortlist and evaluate an internal slate of candidates with assistance of Development Dimensions International (DDI), a company specializing in corporate executive evaluations.
For the first time in its over three-decade existence, Infosys is also considering outsiders for the top job.