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Infosys CEO search cannot have a deadline: Nandan Nilekani

He, however, added that the company would try to complete the process "as soon as possible"

Ayan Pramanik  |  Bengaluru 

The winner takes it all in the new world order: Nandan Nilekani

non-executive chairman said that one of his key priorities at the IT company would be to look for the right CEO, but “it cannot be deadline bound”.

“I believe the choice of next CEO of is a very important and strategic choice, which I would like to do calmly and dispassionately by looking at all the candidates. Will make sure the person not only has the competence, but also the cultural fit that we need. I think these kind of things cannot have deadline,” Nilekani told analysts in a call last evening.

He, however, added that the company would try to complete the process “as soon as possible”.

Infosys, India’s second largest software exporter, earlier said the selection of next CEO “should be no later than March 31, 2018”, after the first non-founder chief executive quit citing “distractions and malicious attacks”.

The Nominations and Remunerations Committee at the board of has already appointed Egon Zehnder as the search consultant to look for the “right leader”.

“I have tasked Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, the iconic entrepreneur and founder of Biocon to lead this effort. She is going to go through all the applications and reach out to people. We are going to create a master panel of internal and external candidates and bring it down to a shortlist at which point I will get involved,” said Nilekani.

The co-founder and current chairman of the board skirted queries on whether has failed to create a succession planning from within and went on to say there is “no hard and fast rule” whether has to choose a leader internally.  

“If you look at the history of IBM, they brought in Louis Vincent Gerstner from outside, because they felt the need for an external candidate. On the other hand, when Microsoft was looking for a leader after Steve Ballmer, they went for Satya Nadella, who was an internal candidate. So, I don't think there are some hard and fast rules as to whether it should be internal or external. It very much depends on the context, environment and strategic challenge. I hesitate to have pre-determined bias about this, certainly if there is good internal candidate we will welcome as the person already knows the culture. I do not think we need to be ideological about it.”

First Published: Sat, August 26 2017. 21:33 IST