India’s second largest software services firm, Infosys today saw the exit of its global head of strategic sales, marketing and alliances Prasad Thrikutam.
The exit of Thrikutam, who was also the head of Infosys Americas, comes within a fortnight of the resignation of President and Board Member B G Srinivas as the company searches for a CEO to succeed S D Shibulal who is due to retire by January next year.
Interestingly, both Srinivas and Thrikutam worked with Infosys for 19 years.
This is the 11th top-level exit from the Bangalore-based company since the return of co-founder N R Narayana Murthy at the helm of affairs in June last year.
The firm in a statement today said: “Prasad Thrikutam has decided to pursue interests outside of Infosys. In his 19-year journey with the company, he has managed many portfolios including Hi-Tech Discrete Manufacturing Unit, Energy, Utilities & Services and most recently served at the Global Head of Strategic Sales, Marketing and Alliances.”
President and Board Member U B Pravin Rao will manage Thrikutam’s portfolios, Infosys added.
Thrikutam joined Infosys in 1995 as a Regional Head of Business Development in the US. From 2004 to 2008, he led the Hi-Tech and Discrete Manufacturing unit (HTDM).
Prior to joining Infosys, he headed regional operations at a leading Indian IT company and before that he was at Bosch GmbH, India, where he held leadership roles in Manufacturing and Operations.
Industry watchers indicated that Thrikutam’s resignation is associated with Infosys’ hunt for the new CEO, which with such high-profile exits point towards growing chances of an outsider replacing Shibulal — a first in its over three-decade existence.
Srinivas, considered a front runner for the CEO position, quit last month, whereas another CEO contender V Balakrishnan, its former CFO and Lodestone Head, had quit in December last year to pursue political aspirations.
Interestingly, before Thrikutam, Basab Pradhan was the head of Global Sales and Marketing, while Ashok Vemuri was the Americas Head at Infosys.
Both Pradhan and Vemuri left the firm last year. While, Vemuri joined rival iGATE as CEO, Pradhan left to start his own venture.
In March 2014, Infosys Operational Head (India business unit) Chandrashekar Kakal resigned from Infosys. He has now joined L&T Infotech as COO.
While Pradhan quit in July 2013, Vemuri resigned in August. Stephen Pratt, who co-founded Infosys Consulting, quit in November 2013.
Other exits include Infosys Australia Head BPO Sales Kartik Jayaraman, BPO Head Latin America Humberto Andrade and Financial Services Head Americas Sudhir Chaturvedi.
Infosys has started the search for the successor of Shibulal and has hired Egon Zehnder, an executive search firm, to assist the nominations committee of the board of directors in identifying external candidates.
Announcing that Nominations Committee of the company’s Board of Directors has begun the search to select Shibulal’s successor, Infosys in April had said the panel would shortlist and evaluate an internal slate of candidates with assistance of Development Dimensions International (DDI), a company specialising in corporate executive evaluations.
Besides, Murthy was called back from retirement to head the firm and put it back on a high-growth trajectory at a time when peers like TCS and HCL Tech were out-performing Infosys.
Murthy, who returned as executive chairman, has been making a series of changes at Infosys, including cutting costs at on-site work locations and shifting focus to large deals.