Infy’s Chandrashekar Kakal Joins L&T As COO

by CXOtoday News Desk    May 27, 2014

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Former Infosys senior vice president Chandrashekar Kakal recently joined Mumbai-based IT services firm L&T Infotech as its chief operating officer (COO). He will also be inducted on the company’s board.

Kakal, who was regarded as a potential CEO some months ago, was leading the India business unit at Infosys. He also held the additional responsibility of overseeing the consulting and systems integration businesses and also served on the Board of Infosys BPO. Kakal’s resignation effective April 18 was the ninth senior level exit in the company, and is touted as one of the most prominent ones after Infosys’ two other board members V Balakrishnan and Ashok Vemuri.

Kakal’s exit from Infosys raised concerns about the continuous ‘Clean Up’ process taking place in the second largest IT company since its co-founder NR Narayana Murthy returned in June 2013. There have been ten or more senior executives departure in less than a year.

Kakal, who joined Infosys Enterprise Solutions in 1999, has played a key role in the company’s expansion into the package implementation and related services market.  In 2004, he was appointed global head of enterprise solutions, which grew to account for more than 25% of the company’s total service revenues under his leadership. After this, he became the global head of business IT services (BITS), and held the additional responsibility of overseeing the consulting and systems integration (CSI) businesses - all these collectively contribute to a huge chunk of the company’s revenue.

However, a string of developments in the recent past could have triggered Kakal’s exit believe experts. Infosys appointed B G Srinivas and U B Pravin Rao as presidents of the company and realigned business portfolios under the two head. While Srinivas focuses on global markets, while Pravin Rao looks at global delivery and service innovation. Kakal, who was previously responsible for global delivery, had to report to Rao in the new structure.

Meanwhile he is set for his new venture at IT firm L&T Infotech, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the $14-billion construction and engineering major Larsen & Toubro. The company provides end-to-end solutions and services in sectors including BFSI, energy, utilities, consumer electronics and healthcare space.

The firm has a dual CEO structure. The joint CEOs Vivek Chopra and Mukesh Aghi have completed 1.5 years at the helm. Former Wipro exec Sudip Banerjee led the company between 2008 and 2011. L&T Infotech’s total income grew 22% to Rs 3,862 crore for the 2012-13 financial year and it made a net addition of 1,270 employees last year. The IT services firm has embarked on building a strong sales and marketing team globally with a key focus on the US, Europe, Gulf countries and the Far East.