Experts believe new structure is sound, allows for smooth transition
Days after announcing the new CEO and Managing Director-designate, Infosys, on Monday, made official its third-rung of leadership, which includes 12 executive vice-presidents.
The third level of management, following CEO and COO, being classified as an executive line-up is a first for Infosys, which has earlier had an executive council which it disbanded within months and has till now followed the vice-president and senior vice-president structure. It has also done away with the dual president structure.
This organisational revamp is being seen as an attempt by the company to stem top-level exits, of which the company has seen no less than 11 in the past one year.
Apart from elevating the 12 senior vice-presidents to executive posts, each have been given specific responsibilities in what is being read as a move towards ensuring clarity in the midst of a major first-of-its-kind transition at the company.
Sandeep Dadlani, who was widely believed to be a top runner for the CEO post during the two-month selection period, has been given the plum portfolio of ‘head of Americas’, a post held by Prasad Thirukutam, who quit last month to join Dell Services. Rajesh Krishnamurthy heads the Europe business, taking over from B. G. Srinivas, the company president who quit in the midst of the CEO hunt last month.
UB Pravin Rao has been appointed as COO. The company had not appointed a COO after S. D. Shibulal was elevated from COO to CEO. This CEO-COO structure, too, analysts say, is a good thing. For, it introduces a clarity in roles.
Guruprasad C. K., Principal, Global Technology and Services at Heidrick & Struggles, said that the new structure was a positive development as it would help retain people. Putting in place a CEO-COO structure, too, was a “wise move”, he said, as it addressed any concerns people might have about how the new CEO would be able to manage given the fact that he was new to the services industry.
“All said and done, Sikka is not a known person within the services industry, so there will be concerns on how he will manage. These get addressed by the fact that you have a COO.
“Now, Vishal Sikka can take care of markets, clients, investors, vision and way forward, while there’s someone like Mr. Rao who can take care of the execution and the deliverables.”