Infy's Hunt For KV Kamath's Successor Begins

by CXOtoday News Desk    May 11, 2015


India’s second largest IT provider Infosys is reportedly looking out for its next chairman, following KV Kamath’s appointment as chief of the $100-billion BRICS Bank, (renamed New Development Bank) - which in turn will require him to step down from his present role as non-executive chairman of Infosys.

As per an ET report, in the next few days, Infosys is expected to prepare of shortlist of candidates who could go on to become the next chairman of the former bellwether and poster child of India’s $146-billion information technology industry. In the meanwhile, Infosys may even appoint an interim chairman to oversee the transition process and current board members such as Ravi Venkatesan and R Seshayasee are currently being considered as potential interim candidates, it said.

The hunt for Kamath’s successor will be one of the biggest leadership transitions in the history of the three and a half decade old company that has undergone massive organizational overhauls over the past five years after it started losing out on its market share to top-tier rivals such as Tata Consultancy Services and Cognizant Technology Solutions.

The company has not mentioned whether it will settle on its board members for the chairman’s role or will appoint an outsider, inside sources with knowledge of the matter said that CEO Vishal Sikka is looking to have a very high profile chairman - a tech or business visionary.

If Kamath takes up the Brics Bank job, he will return to a multilateral lending agency after a long gap. He spent eight years at the Asian Development Bank between 1988 and 1996, where he was part of the private sector department. He returned to India to take over as the managing director and CEO of ICICI Bank, where he stayed for 13-year till 2009. Kamath led ICICI Bank’s transition from a largely industrial lender to a retail banking giant, which in turn that made ICICI the largest retail lender in the country.

Kamath’s joined the IT sector in April 2011 as its Chairman when founder chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy retired in August of that year, where he was serving as an independent director on the board of Infosys. Kamath stepped down in June 2013 after Narayana Murthy came back to the company and was named chairman of the board. Kamath stayed on at Infosys board member helping in the search for a new CEO - with Vishal Sikka’s appointment in June 2014. Kamath now heads back to the world of finance with his new appointment.