Narayana Murthy
Business Issues

Infosys' first CEO returns to help lead struggling company

Infosys' co-founder and first CEO N. R. Narayana Murthy has returned to the company as executive chairman, amid concerns that the outsourcer's performance has not been as good as that of some of its Indian peers.

Murthy, 67, said he will be "adding value" to CEO S.D. Shibulal, who has initiated a strategy called Infosys 3.0, which aims to focus the company on high-margin businesses like consultancy, reusable platforms and products.

Once the darling of investors, Infosys has seen lackluster growth in revenue and profits in comparison to some of its Indian competitors such as Tata Consultancy Services. Murthy could now help Infosys recover from problems it has had in executing on its strategy, analysts said.

Familiar faces at helm

Murthy was chairman and CEO of Infosys from its founding in 1981 to 2002, and remained as chairman until 2011, when he was appointed chairman emeritus, largely an honorific position.

He brings to Infosys his son Rohan Murthy, as executive assistant in the chairman's office, ending an over-30-year corporate policy not to employ family members of the company founders.

Shibulal is also a founder of the company. The CEO's position has remained among the founders, which has been criticized by analysts who said the company was not giving an opportunity to high-performing insiders or to outside recruits for that job.

Shareholder approval is required Murthy's appointment as executive chairman and director for a period of five years, the board said Saturday.

Besides Murthy and Shibulal, former CEO S. Gopalakrishnan will steer the company as executive vice chairman. Gopalakrishnan was co-chairman of the company until the changes announced Saturday. Chairman K.V. Kamath returned to being an independent director on the board.

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