Is B G Srinivas Infy’s CEO in-the-waiting?
As Infosys witnesses a spate of high-profile exits since June 2013, the industry is speculating who could be the CEO in the ‘waiting’? After V Balakrishnan’s announcement of exit last week, fingers are pointed to just one person, BG Srinivas. According to an ET report, Srinivas, the company’s head of Europe and banking & financial services is expected to succeed SD Shibulal as the CEO, who is set to retire in early 2015.
The company had seen a number of other senior-level exits too in the past five months since NR Narayana Murthy returned as Infosys Chairman to revive the company’s sagging fortunes. This automatically made the industry think what’s next for the company? Who will succeed the highest chair!
Srinivas, the 50-something senior executive who was heading the banking and financial services globally, is the oldest of the three contenders for the CEO position - Ashok Vemuri and V Balakrishnan - who have both left the company.
Srinivas is said to be one of the most reticent one, according to the industry. “BG (as he is called by friends and colleagues) is a very quiet, no-fuss person. He has the ability to manage both seniors as well juniors without creating friction,” former CFO Mohandas Pai, who is now with the Manipal Group, told ET. After Pai’s exit, the field was left open to Ashok Vemuri, BG Srinivas and V Balakrishnan. Ashok Vemuri, a board member who was in charge of manufacturing and the Americas, left in August to join iGate as its CEO. Vemuri made it clear that he was quitting because he didn’t think of his chances as bright. It was Srinivas who took on banking and financial services from Vemuri.
Similarly V Balakrishnan, the former CFO who was in charge of several divisions, including BPO and Finacle, also announced his exit stating that he is “seeking life beyond Infosys.” Even though Bala had insisted that it was a personal decision, it was clear to his associates that he was looking for something more definite. “For leaders like him to continue in an indefinite race could be exhausting,” Swami Sawminathan, Infosys BPO’s former head said in an interview with TOI.
That leaves Infosys with only BG Srinivas, head of Europe and financial services, as the potential CEO. The ET report also said Srinivas, who spent 14 years at ABB before joining Infosys in 1999, has stayed overseas for several years and he has been aggressive in marketing and growing his team. He has also earned a respected position in the investors and analysts circle for his soft spoken nature.
Industry is anticipating will all these traits help him reach the High Chair of India’s second largest IT company? Now that’s something we need to wait and watch!
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