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Infosys appoints Pravin Rao, BG Srinivas as presidents

Winding up of executive council comes as surprise as two new presidents appointed from within the company.

BT News Bureau | January 3, 2014 | Updated 19:02 IST
Infosys appoints Pravin Rao, BG Srinivas as presidents

Infosys, India's third largest software services firm by revenues, has appointed two senior executives as presidents, signaling the search for its next chief executive officer (CEO) is far from over.

What came as a surprise, together with that announcement was the winding up of Infosys 's executive council. The much-vaunted executive council, with some 30 members, was tasked with key operational and strategic decisions and was described as a forum that reflected the voice of Infoscions, as Infosys company executives call themselves.

B.G. Srinivas, one of the two newly appointed presidents, until now heading financial services business at Infosys, will be given additional responsibility of global markets and the company's business with manufacturing, engineering services, energy and communications, and public services clients.  In addition, Infosys Lodestone, strategic global sourcing, marketing and alliances will report to Srinivas, Infosys said in a statement.

U.B. Pravin Rao, the second president, will focus on global delivery and service innovation, and look after Infosys's business in retail, consumer packaged goods, logistics, life sciences, resources and utilities. He will also be responsible for services, cloud and mobility, quality and productivity, and the Infosys Leadership Institute, the statement added.

Both Srinivas and Rao will report to CEO and Managing Director S.D. Shibulal.

BG, as Srinivas is known in the company, is a people's person and a frontrunner for the CEO role. He is said to favoured by Shibulal.

Rao, who joined Infosys in 1986, is a quiet professional who in the past led Infosys's intellectual property development efforts. According to company insiders, he is close to Executive Vice Chairman Kris Gopalakrishnan.

Friday's announcement comes two weeks after the resignation of V. Balakrishnan, a director and long-serving company executive. Over the last three years, Infosys has seen a spate of exits including senior executives such as Mohandas Pai, Subhash Dhar, Ritesh Idnani and Shaji Farooq. Ashok Vemuri , touted as another CEO candidate, quit in August to join rival firm iGate.  

On December 20, Infosys had inducted Rao into the executive council highlighting his ascent in the company. By disbanding the council, effective April 1, 2014, the company seems to be making the company's structure less complex.

Friday's "changes will further enhance our focus on deepening client relationships, increasing market share, creating service differentiation through innovation and agility in execution," Shibulal said in the statement.

Shares of Infosys ended at Rs 3,565.45 each, up 2.61 per cent, marginally ahead of a 2.19 per cent rise in the Bombay Stock Exchange's information technology index. Infosys announces its third quarter financial results on January 10.

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