Infosys chairman Seshasayee to retire in May 2018

Infosys chairman Seshasayee to retire in May 2018

Infosys Chairman R Seshasayee on Saturday said it will be his last annual general meeting (AGM) and he will retire in May next year.
 
Addressing the 36th AGM, Seshasayee said he plans a smooth transition to his successor.
 
"Finally, as this will be my last AGM, before I retire upon reaching the age of 70 in May 2018 ... During the remaining part of my tenure, I would be committed to further enhancing governance standards, improve shareholder value and planning a smooth transition to my successor," he said.
 
Seshasayee joined Infosys in 2015 after stepping down from his position as the non-executive vice-chairman of Ashok Leyland, the Hinduja group flagship company, where he served for 44 years. He replaced K V Kamath when the latter stepped down as chairman of the board.
 
Seshasayee said the management and the board commit to its shareholders further acceleration of its efforts to navigate the company through the daunting changes, and deliver performance, worthy of its proud heritage.
 
Even though he had his differences with founder promoters, Seshasayee thanked founders, his colleagues on the board and shareholders for giving him the great privilege of serving the company at an extremely critical time during its transformation journey.
 
"I have had unstinted support from my colleagues on the board and management and I am truly grateful to them for imposing confidence in my leadership in these challenging times," he said.
 
During the first half of this year, founders of Infosys-led by N R Narayana Murthy expressed unhappiness with non-executive chairman R Seshasayee over some decisions taken by the company’s board in the past two years and asked him to consider stepping down.
 
But Seshasayee was very much adamant and clinging to the support of institutional investors.
 
Seshasayee said the company is undertaking three transformations, including the cultural transformation to secure a sustainable and secure future.
 
"I have said earlier, we are undertaking three transformations simultaneously in your company to secure a sustainable and secure future; one, the business transformation from a traditional transformation company to an innovation led, software plus services company, which is formidable enough," he said.
 
"Secondly, the cultural transformation that comes along when you induct global leadership talent; and third, the rather abrupt transition from the promoter-led board and management to an independent board. None of these is easy. Other players in the industry might have one or the other but not all three," he added.
 
Only five of the seven original co-founders, Murthy, Nandan Nilekani, Shibulal, Gopalakrishnan and K. Dinesh, who are categorised as promoters of the firm, together hold a 12.75% stake in Infosys.
 
Ravi Venkatesan, who was an independent director and got appointed as co-chairman on April 13, will be the most likely front runner for the chairman post.  
 
Venkatesan was appointed actually to douse the growing differences between the shareholder promoters and the management.

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