Infosys Technologies Chief Executive Nandan M Nilekani speaks to a reporter at the World Economic Forum . (Photographer: Amit Bhargava/Bloomberg News)

Nandan Nilekani Outlines His Key Goals For Infosys

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Nilekani's First Day At Infosys

It was a whirlwind first day for the new non-executive chairman of Infosys Ltd., Nandan Nilekani, who returned to the company after more than eight years, capping months-long hostilities between the company’s board and co-founders.

Nilekani hosted a conference call with domestic analysts this morning, addressed the press around 5 pm and finally spoke to foreign brokerages later in the day.

The subject of these conversations were largely the same - focus on bringing stability back in Infosys, addressing long-term corporate governance, the search for a new CEO, the board’s relationship with Narayana Murthy and how Nilekani will approach Murthy’s demand for the Panaya investigation report to be made public.

Here are the highlights:

Board Offers Quasi Apology To Murthy

“The Board believes it to be unfortunate that various differences of opinion have arisen between Mr. Murthy and the Board in the recent past.   The Board wishes to express that it was not its intention to cause Mr. Murthy or any other affected person any personal distress or anguish while stating its point of view.”

Board Committee To Work On Strategic Plan

“Board committee consisting of Ravi Venkatesan and DN Prahlad will work with management and take stock of initiatives and create a consolidated plan to be presented to the board in October.”

Engagements With Stakeholders And Working On Corporate Governance Structure Of The Board

“…that it will engage in further broad-based shareholder consultations to determine what further, if any, the Company can take to ensure that it continues to adhere to high governance standards.”
“.…the Nominations and Remunerations Committee will deliberate on the long-term governance structure of the Board and present its recommendations at the meeting of the Board in October.”

Egon Zehnder Appointed To Search For Next Leader

“The Board has also approved the appointment of the executive recruitment firm Egon Zehnder to work with its Nominations and Remunerations Committee to review and identify the right candidate to be the Company’s next CEO and MD.”

Other Details

“There is no time limit on my appointment. I’ll be here  as long as necessary to achieve my goals. My goals are to bring in stability and make sure all stakeholders are aligned.”
“I’ve had a series of meeting with senior managements and vertical heads. They are all going out with a clear upbeat message that the company is customer-focused. Today I did a video broadcast with all our employees, they are also enthused.”
“It’s less than 24 hours since I rejoined this company. It’s very premature for me to speak on strategic markets. Which is why I have asked the board committee to work on a report that we can discuss in the October meeting.”

'Company Is Customer-Focused'

On how he will ensure client retention, top talent retention, and avoid any deviation in the transformation from legacy to digital, Nilekani says Infosys has communicated to its clients that the company now has a stable leadership in order to assuage concerns.

The new chairman says he has had a series of meeting with senior managements and vertical heads. “They are all going out with a clear upbeat message that the company is customer-focused. Today I did a video broadcast with all our employees, they are also enthused”

Nilekani reiterates that Infosys has formed a group with Ravi Ventakesan and DN Prahlad who will work with the CEO, CFO, business and delivery letters, anchored by strategy officer, who will over next 3-4 weeks, take stock of strategic initiatives initiated in the last few months. This strategy group will come out with a plan in October which will then be made public.

Nilekani Outlines His Key Goals

  • Immediate goal is to bring stability and calmness to the organisation
  • Focus on the search for a new CEO
  • Look at the long-term corporate governance structure
  • Focus on the board’s relationship with Murthy.
  • The approach on the recent investigations. “I will go through them in calm, dispassionate , unbiased manner,” Nilekani reterates.
  • The Infosys strategey group will meet and take stock of various initiatives and customer needs and will make the strategy report public in October.

Nilekani On His Plans For Infosys

It has been less than 24 hours since I rejoined this company. It’s very premature for me to speak on strategy. Which is why I have asked the board committee to work on a report that we can discuss in the October meeting.

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Nandan Nilekani Outlines His Key Goals For Infosys