Considered to be one of the strongest CEO contenders after Shibulal’s retirement in 2015, Bala was a member of the board in-charge of Infosys BPO, Lodestone, Finacle, India Business Unit and Global Immigration
BENGALURU : In another setback to Infosys Ltd, senior director V. Balakrishnan resigned from the IT bellweather on Friday. He is the eighth top-level executive to quit Infosys in the past six months and the move comes just a day after the resignation of Subrahmanyam Goparaju, senior Vice President and a member of the executive council that frames business strategy. The spate of resignations rocking Infosys after founder N R Narayana Murthy took over the reigns of Infosys signals a deep churning within the organisation.
Balakrishnan, who joined Infosys in 1991, was tipped to be the next Chief Executive Officer after current CEO S D Shibulal retires in 2015. Shibulal said Balakrishnan was the backbone of Infosys and had played a major role in building the financial structure of the company. In October last year, Balakrishnan had stepped down from his role as the company’s chief financial officer.
Balakrishnan’s resignation follows the exits of Ashok Vemuri and Basab Pradhan in August and Stephen Pratt in November.
Following the resignation of Bala, as he is known in Infosys, Murthy effected a rejig of the company’s board. He sprung a surprise by bringing in Biocon Ltd chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw as an independent director. The company’s executive council member U.B. Pravin Rao has been made a full-time director.
Pravin Rao is also the company’s senior Vice-President and global head of its retail, consumer packaged goods, logistics and life sciences business.
In a terse statement, Murthy said: “Balakrishnan has conveyed his intention to resign as a board and from the company. His resignation will be effective Dec 31, 2013.
“Bala has been an early adopter and a keen anchor-builder of Infosys. It is difficult to imagine Infosys without his passion, commitment, and intellect. The board and every Infoscion thank Bala for his contribution and wish him success in his endeavours.”
“Over the last few years, Bala has also provided leadership to BPO, Finacle, India business unit, global immigration and recently to Lodestone,” he said.
On Shaw he said: “Kiran is a well-recognised and respected corporate leader. She will bring immense value to the board. I am honoured to welcome her to our board.”
In another statement, Balakrishnan said: “I have enjoyed every moment of my stint at Infosys and it was a great learning experience. While my heart will always be with Infosys, my mind wants to do something beyond Infosys.”
During his long association with Infosys as board member, Bala had played a pivotal role when he was the company”s chief financial officer and was subsequently in-charge of its back-office operations – Infosys BPO (business process outsourcing), Lodestone, Finacle, India business unit and global immigration.
LodestoneAHolding AG is a leading Switzerland-based management consulting business Infosys acquired in Sept 2012 for $349 million and Finacle is the company”s flagship software product for the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) vertical.
The board will approve the appointment of the two new directors at its quarterly meeting Jan 10.
In August this year, two senior executives had resigned — Ashok Vemuri, who led the company’s operations in the Americas, and Vice President and Financial Services Head for Americas Sudhir Chaturvedi.
Last month, Infosys Global Sales Head Basab Pradhan left while Stephen R Pratt, the firm’s Head of Utilities and Resources for North America, had put in his papers last month. In September, Infosys Head of BPO sales in Australia Kartik Jayaraman and BPO Head Latin America Humberto Andrade had quit the company. On Friday, Infosys shares ended up 1.11% at 3,551.35 rupees on the National Stock Exchange.