To have 7,000 employees in China in 18 months
Business and technology consulting company Infosys has announced that independent director on the board Kundapur Vaman Kamath will be the next chairman of the company.
After a meeting on the succession plan for the India-based company, the Board of directors also named S Gopalakrishnan as the co-chairman and S D Shibulal as the chief executive officer and managing director. It also invited founder N R Narayana Murthy, who is currently the chairman of the board, to be the chairman emeritus.
The new appointments will be effective from 21 August 2011, when Murthy retires as chairman and chief mentor of the company.
Infosys was started in 1981 by seven people with US$ 250. Today, it has revenues of $6.04bn with a market capitalisation of approximately $41bn.
However, the company missed analysts’ forecast in the last three of the four quarters. Its shares plunged nearly 10% last month on the day it reported disappointing annual results. The company said it expects its revenues to grow by between 15-17%, lower than what analysts had been expecting.
The company has also been grappling with succession plans since 2006, when Murthy retired from the services of the company on turning 60. He was appointed as an additional director, and continues as chairman and chief mentor of Infosys. Director human resources and board member Mohandas Pai put in his papers recently. Aditya Nath Jha, who handled branding and corporate marketing, also resigned last month.
This is the first time since Infosys was founded, that it has turned to an outsider and a non-techie to lead the group. Kamath is the former chief executive of ICICI, India’s largest private sector bank.
After the new appointments, COO Shibulal announced company’s expansion plans in China. He said that Infosys will add about 4,000 employees in a new office it will build in Shanghai. He added the company will have as many as 7,000 workers in China in the next 18 months.
Infosys also revealed its plans to acquire companies in Europe and Japan and in industries including healthcare and public services.
Chief executive Gopalakrishnan told Reuters that Infosys was also seeking acquisitions in new areas like cloud computing.
Infosys and its subsidiaries have 130,820 employees and 98% of its revenues come from its existing customers.