A week later Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka resigned from his post, former Infosys CEO Nandan Nilekani took over as the new Chairman of the Infosys board of Directors, announced the tech-giant in a stock exchange filing on Thursday evening. He will serve Infosys as a non-executive, non-independent director with immediate effect.
The appointment of Nilekani came amid high profile exits of its formers Chairman R. Seshasayee and Co-chair Ravi Venkatesan and the directors Jeffrey Lehman and John Etchemendy. Nandan Nilekani is one of the co-founders of Infosys and led the company between the years of March 2002 and April 2007.
This major decision by Infosys was preceded by lot of hoopla from some financial experts and advisory firms which felt that return of Nilekani could restore the administrative crisis the company was going through.
Last week the company’s ex-CEO Vishal Sikka quit unable to cope with the mounting pressure and criticism from the company’s founder Narayana Murthy, with full support from the board of Directors who put the blame entirely on Murthy. With the release of this paradigm shift the Infosys stocks on Friday slumped by a massive 10% even though it had few buy back shares on hold and the investors lost Rs 22,500 crore .
The tension between Sikka and Murthy boiled up on a serious note in reference to Murthy’s sharp remarks on deteriorating “corporate governance”. He was particularly bitter and sceptical on some of the major decisions taken by the company with respect to salary hike, severance payment and acquisitions over the last two years. The conflict was blown out of proportion with Narayana Murthy putting “baseless allegations” on Vishal Sikka for not conforming to his proposals.
However in an unexpected turn, Vishal Sikka will be retained as the company’s executive Vice Chairman, till March 2018.
It’s finally good news for the IT giant and Nandan Nilekani whose family has 2.29 % stake in Infosys and is getting ready for the big shake-up, to identify and reframe the investor-customer relations of the company.
Nilekani, who set up Infosys 36 years back left the company in 2009 to join as Chairman of UIDAI under the Manmohan singh government. He laid the foundation for Aadhar, a priority identification status for the Indian citizens and even contested Lok Sabha elections in 2014 for Congress party from Bengaluru.
Infosys Chairman Ravi Venkatesan and independent directors Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and DN Prahlad spent hours at the tech magante’s home to convince him to take over the crucial responsibility.
Nilekani cited in a statement to the press, “I am happy to return to Infosys, now in the role of non-executive chairman, and look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board and in executive management on the business opportunities we see before us and delivering benefits to our clients, shareholders, employees and communities,”.
Nandan Nilekani has various honours under his belt. In 2006 he was awarded with Padma Bhushan, India’s prominent civilian award. In 2006 and 2009 Time Magazine declared him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
We all are hopeful that Nilekani’s role to rescue Infosys current crisis is going to be pivotal, given his flawless execution in both corporate and public governance with implementation of latest technology.