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Narayana Murthy back in Infosys as executive chairman

In a major top management reshuffle, Infosys has reappointed N R Narayana Murthy as Executive Chairman and Additional Director with immediate effect. Veteran banker K V Kamath would step down from his position as Chairman of the Board and take up the role of Lead Independent Director.

BT Online Bureau        Last Updated: June 1, 2013  | 14:14 IST

In a major top management rejig, Infosys on Saturday announced that the company has appointed NR Narayana Murthy into the board and executive leadership of the company.

The decision was taken at a board meeting held earlier in the day, Infosys said in a statement, adding the appointment will be with effect from June 1, 2013.

K.V.Kamath would step down from his position as chairman of the board and take up position of lead Independent director effective June 1, 2013.

In August 2011, Kamath was appointed Chairman, succeeding Murthy, who was made the Chairman Emeritus post his retirement. Also, the then CEO and MD S Gopalakrishnan (Kris) was elevated as the executive co-chairman, while COO S D Shibulal filled in Kris' position.

"The Board has taken this step keeping in mind the challenges that the technology industry and the company faces and in the interest of all stakeholders, particularly shareholders large and small, who have asked for strengthening of the executive leadership during this challenging time," Kamath said.

S Gopalakrishnan would be re-designated Executive vice chairman effective June 1, 2013 and would primarily focus on key client relationships and broader industry issues. S D Shibulal would continue to be the Managing Director and CEO.

Archive:  'Is Infosys missing Narayana Murthy?
Murthy's appointment as a director would be placed for the consideration of the company's shareholders in the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on June 15, 2013. Subject to his election as a director at the AGM, the board will take up in its meeting on June 15, 2013, the resolutions for convening an extraordinary general meeting within the requisite period, in order to seek approval from the shareholders for appointing him as the Executive Chairman and Whole-time Director for a period of five years commencing on June 1, 2013.

N R Narayana Murthy said, "This calling was sudden, unexpected, and most unusual. But, then, Infosys is my middle child. Therefore, I have put aside my plans-in-progress and accepted this responsibility. I am grateful to K V Kamath - the Chairman, the Board, and every Infoscion for giving me this opportunity. I intend to do my best to add value to the Company in this challenging situation."

During his five-year tenure, Murthy would draw a token compensation of Rupee One per year.

The company's press release said, "In order to function more effectively, Narayana Murthy intends to create the Chairman's office to assist him during his tenure and has requested the Board to permit him to put together a team for this function. The team will include his son, Rohan Murty, as Narayana Murthy's executive assistant."

Business Today in its Feb 17, 2013 edition and cover story 'Is Infosys missing Narayana Murthy?' had reported that Infosys, a company that grew from a seven man start-up in 1981 to the 155,629 person, $7 billion enterprise it is today, has time and again been called India's most admired and respected company. But its halo has dimmed.

An internal restructuring, a leadership vacuum, complacency towards customers, rigid contracting terms, and a stubborn high-margin pricing model have made recording growth at Infosys as difficult as walking on wet tar. So much so, the company is now struggling to beat even the average industry growth rates. Its bigger rival, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), has pulled away and widened its revenue lead by about $3 billion, while third-placed Cognizant has already overtaken Infosys in terms of quarterly revenues in the June and September quarters of 2012.

With agency inputs

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