Infosys faces shortage of leadership, former CFO Pai says

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India's second-largest software services firm Infosys, which has seen a spate of departures by top executives, is facing a "shortage of leadership," former chief financial officer T V Mohandas Pai said today.

The company's "prolonged search" for a chief executive officer is creating "stress" among Infosys employees, said Pai, who resigned from the Bangalore-based firm in April 2011.

In a surprise move yesterday, Infosys President and board member B G Srinivas, considered a top contender for the first non-founder CEO post, resigned from the company.

His was the 10th top-level exit since co-founder N R Narayana Murthy returned to the helm in June last year.

Asked about the spate of exits by top-level executives, Pai told PTI: "The prolonged search for a CEO and lack of growth is creating stress among people, leading to exits. People need to be reassured and better teamwork is required."

Infosys declined to comment on Pai's remarks.

Pai, who also served as Human Resources head at Infosys, said: "There is a shortage of leadership. The next set of leaders have left and there needs to be strong mentoring and team-building efforts for the new leaders."

Pai is currently Chairman of the Board of Manipal Global Education Services, headquartered in Bangalore.

He added that there has been a lot of stress at the firm for the past one-and-a-half to two years.

"Also, there are umpteen number of opportunities in the market -- that is evident from where all these people have joined," Pai said, referring to those who left Infosys.

Asked if he would return to Infosys, Pai said: "Calling back people is not a good idea."

Srinivas did not give reasons for his resignation, and neither did Infosys.

"I think, he (Srinivas) would have resigned as he might have come to know that he is no more in the race for CEO," former CFO V Balakrishnan said.

Srinivas and U B Pravin Rao, both Presidents and board members, were considered to be among the top contenders for the CEO's job after S D Shibulal retires by January 9, 2015.

With the exit of Srinivas, the chances of an outsider taking over as CEO of the over USD 8 billion company have increased.

Infosys shares plunged 7.81 per cent to Rs 2,924.30 at the close on the BSE.

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