Venkatesan named Infy co-chairman

Venkatesan named Infy co-chairman

Venkatesan named Infy co-chairman

Infosys on Friday announced the elevation of independent director Ravi Venkatesan as co-chairman. The move is intended to bring to an end growing differences between the company’s promoter-shareholders and its board of directors.

Venkatesan told DH he was accepting the responsibility at the request of the board. “I am also taking up this post because I love Infosys. Just like the idea of India, the idea of Infosys is a powerful one,” he said. Venkatesan described Infosys a ‘vital institution of our country’. “It is important that it continues to flourish,” he said.

Venkatesan, a board member since April 2011, had earlier served as head of Microsoft India. He is said to be close to founder N R Narayana Murthy and other promoter-shareholders who have taken on the board on questions of governance.

Venkatesan said his first priority was to help align all stakeholders for the ongoing ‘transformation journey’.

“Next is to work closely with (CEO) Vishal (Sikka) in helping build a world-class leadership team that can execute the transformation strategy,” he said. Infosys chairman R Seshasayee said Venkatesan would help him enhance the board’s engagement in the execution of strategies.

“Ravi’s name is not mooted by the promoters. I wanted the bandwidth to be increased and the board said “let us get Ravi to take part of your load”... and so there we are together on this,” he said.

IIT, Harvard credentials

An IIT-Bombay alumnus (1981-1985), Ravi Venkatesan has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

He was chairman of Cummins India, and is currently chairman of the board, Bank of Baroda. He is also founder-chairman of Social Venture Partners India, partner at Unitus Seed Fund, and fund advisor at Kalaari Capital.