iGate top exec quits after friction with Vemuri

by Sohini Bagchi    Nov 12, 2013

ashok vemuri

Former Infosys leader Ashok Vemuri, who joined iGate as the President and Chief Executive Officer amidst a lot of industry buzz and speculation in September this year, is caught in the middle of a conflict. According to a TOI report, the chief delivery officer of iGate, Sean Narayanan, has not only submitted his resignation letter to the company. He has detailed the friction between him and Vemuri in a letter sent to iGate promoters Sunil Wadhwani and Ashok Trivedi. He is seemingly upset with the newly appointed CEO’s style of functioning.

Narayanan joined iGate in 2006 and helped create an integrated delivery organization that today employs 28,000 people delivering IT solutions to over 300 clients. The report stated Narayanan’s resignation comes within months of his receiving fresh stock awards and retention sops from the firm. In July, iGate approved retention bonuses for five top executives, including Narayanan, under which each would get $1,50,000 on June 30, 2014, and $1,00,000 on December 31, 2014, provided they were still employed in the company on the applicable payment date. Prior to joining iGate, Narayanan was VP and global practice head of IT infrastructure services at Cognizant. He has also worked with international management consulting firm Booz-Allen-Hamilton in the US. He has over 18 years of experience in management consulting and IT.

Meanwhile Vemuri, an industry veteran, known for his strong leadership skills started at iGate on a very positive note. In fact right after his entry, iGate has reported a revenue increase of 3.6% to $293.4 million in the quarter, compared to $283.3 million in the preceding June quarter. This is 8.2% higher when compared to the same period last year.

iGate seemed to have put behind all the fears that were created after Phaneesh Murthy’s controversial exit from the company for not reporting a relationship with a subordinate. But with the company reporting strong third quarter results, all the doubts have been put to rest. Experts believed in that situation, iGate couldn’t have found a better candidate as Vemuri is known for his ability to manage complex business and political environment. He also has a good association with investors and brokerages and was instrumental in establishing Infosys’ North American business.

iGate co-founder and co-chairman Sunil Wadhwani also mentioned that Vemuri would undoutedly bring tremendous value with his strengths at client management, operational expertise and delivery experience.  

Meanwhile, under Vemuri’s leadership, the company is on an aggressive expansion strategy. It is reportedly increasing its headcount from 1500 to 4,000 by December this year as the company looks to chase larger orders.  Ashok Vemuri, known for his aggressive sales approach, has drawn out this strategy, said a source close to the company.

“With more than $1 billion in revenues and proven capabilities in customer delivery, I believe iGate is well-positioned to capitalise on the significant opportunities ahead of us. Several large deals that have been recently signed last quarter and a healthy pipeline of deals indicate positive signs for the future,” said a positive Vemuri in a statement earlier.

Experts believe management conflicts are a common occurance in business and that Vemuri’s strong leadership style may not have gone well with Narayanan, who chose the exit path, even though the company has declined to comment on this matter.

Also read: Vemuri’s entry marks a new beginning for iGate