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Next Infosys Chairman to be a non-founder, Says Nilekani

Infosys Ltd. Chairman Nandan Nilekani said his successor at the software services provider will be a non-founder.

“I’ll be handing over to a chairman at whatever point that I exit from the scene, who’ll be a… non-founder,” he said, at an event to commemorate 40 years of Infosys. There cannot be a “Plan B” regarding his succession, as “if I hand over to someone and it doesn’t work, I cannot come back at 75”.

Nilekani said his primary criteria while selecting a successor is to ensure that the vision of co-founder NR Narayana Murthy is implemented.

Nilekani had returned as the non-executive chairman in 2017 to navigate the leadership crisis after former Chief Executive Officer Vishal Sikka was forced to leave following a boardroom coup. Sikka quit after a public spat with Murthy. The company later named Salil Parekh as the CEO.

Co-founder Murthy admitted he was wrong in keeping the next-generation of promoters away from Infosys. “I think I was depriving this organisation of legitimate talent… I think every individual must have the same opportunity as every other individual if he or she is considered the best person for that job.”

The Infosys doyen said he embraced this idea because he “was afraid some people may bring undeserving candidates”.

“Today, my view is that you should not worry… as long as you have the best competence for a job,” Murthy said. Bloomberg

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