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Narayana Murthy defends Rohan, says his efforts aimed to differentiate Infosys in market

Goutam Das     June 14, 2014

Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy , speaking at his last AGM in Bangalore on Saturday as the company's Chairman, made a longish speech-the company's financial performance, leadership transitions, why executives left, what the company can do in the future, his own success the past year, and that of his son Rohan Murty.

Often criticised for promoting his son after promising he would keep his family out of the business in the past, Murthy laid out in detail six strategic efforts Rohan "conceived, implemented and pushed forward" and those that would help Infosys differentiate in the marketplace.

They include measuring productivity, more automation in software development, broadening technical competence, a programme to identify people who can be fast tracked, re-training of people, and ushering in a new culture of innovation.

"Some of you have questioned why I asked Rohan to put his life on hold and come add value to Infosys. I wanted Infosys to think differently and invest in some bold initiatives that would yield results in the medium-to-long term," he told investors who gathered at the Christ University auditorium in Bangalore.

Today was Rohan Murty's last day in office - he leaves the company since his stay was linked to Murthy's executive role-Murthy stepped down to become Infosys' non-executive Chairman on Saturday and will leave the company effective October 10.

Other co-founders, Kris Gopalakrishnan and current CEO SD Shibulal would also leave the company this year - Infosys this week announced that Vishal Sikka , a former SAP executive, would take over as CEO effective August 1.

Murthy said that the board had wanted him to achieve two objectives. One was building a strong foundation for growth and the second was to assist in finding a new CEO. The chairman hinted both these objectives were met. While Sikka has been appointed CEO, the company is now much leaner with a focus on where the money is - large deals in the commoditized business.
Retail investors, meanwhile, praised Murthy for his services to the company and for creating the Indian IT industry. "The world knows Narayana Murthy will live in the company for ever," an investor said. 

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