On his last day as the executive chairman of the company he founded over three decades ago, Infosys Ltd founder N R Narayana Murthy credited his son Rohan Murty with setting in motion a plan for the future of the company in the course of the past year — when Murthy returned out of retirement, with Rohan Murty as his executive assistant, to a troubled Infosys.
With Infosys set to have a new leadership team in place from Monday, after the exit of all its founders from executive positions and the entry of former SAP AG executive Vishal Sikka as CEO, Murthy speaking at what he called his last annual general meeting as head of Infosys Ltd here on Saturday spoke at length on controversies that have plagued the company in recent times.
Outlining a broad set of initiatives that the company had taken in the past year to secure its future — automation in software development, measurement of productivity of engineers, returning to a technical core, recognizing young leaders, focusing on education and bringing a culture of innovation – Murthy said each one of these initiatives were “conceived, implemented and pushed forward” by his son Rohan.
“Some of you have questioned why I asked Rohan to put his life on hold and come add value to Infosys. I wanted Infosys to think differently and invest in some bold initiatives that would yield results in the medium to long term. When the board requested me to come back I knew I needed somebody by my side who is intelligent, smart and is new to the industry to the point of where he/she would not accept status quo,” Murthy told the Infosys Ltd AGM on Saturday.
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Murthy admitted during his speech that Infosys had been slipping up on several fronts in recent years and had become too “top heavy” since 2002 apart from losing its focus on meritocracy and accountability in the last decade.
“I have always believed that fairness, transparency, accountability and leadership by example are key to the success of any enterprise. Somehow the company had diluted its focus on meritocracy and accountability during the last decade,” Murthy said.
The Infosys founder also sought to counter concerns expressed in the media over exits of a dozen top executives from the company over the past year by stating that the company had “gone out of its way to retain high performers and has retained them”.
Murthy said some of the executives who left the company had been evaluated as low performers.