With Nilekani gone, Infosys to decide if it needs co-chair


Nilekani was appointed Thursday as the chairperson of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) by the central government.

“The board will decide whether there is need for co-chairman. Nobody is at this point keen to become co-chairman,” Infosys chief executive and managing director S. Gopalakrishnan told reporters here.

The company’s next board meeting, scheduled July 10 to approve the financial results of the first quarter (April-June) of this fiscal, may discuss the issue of appointing a new co-chairman.

“In the absence of co-chairman, Nilekani’s responsibilities and powers will be distributed across the executive committee. Some may be handled by me and some by others on the board,” Gopalakrishnan said on the margins of a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) southern region conference.

Admitting that the board and its employees would miss Nilekani who has been associated with the company since its inception as one of the co-founders and subsequently in top positions, Gopalakrishnan said: “Though there would be a sense of loss, he (Nilekani) would continue to be a friend of the company.”

“If you look at the larger picture and what Nandan is going to take on, then we will be proud. We are happy that someone like Nilekani has been invited by the prime minister to head such an ambitious project of unique identification cards for over a billion citizens.”

In the absence of a co-chairman, the chief executive said, the company had a succession planning process in place and was confident of handling the transition as it did in the past when present chairman and chief mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy handed the baton to Nilekani in 2002.

“Nilekani has been handling marquee clients and brand initiatives. His responsibilities will be distributed to other leadership within the company,” Gopalakrishnan added.

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