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Balakrishnan moves up another level at Infosys

Company creates utilities & resources vertical under him

Bibhu Ranjan Mishra & Surabhi Agarwal  |  Bangalore/ New Delhi 

V Balakrishnan
V Balakrishnan

In another significant senior-level realignment at Infosys, V Balakrishnan, one of the two internal candidates being considered for the chief executive's post, has been given additional charge of the new utilities and resources vertical.

This is the first time Balakrishnan would manage a business line as overall head.

Sources said earlier, the energy and utilities vertical was headed by Prasad Thrikutam, senior vice-president. The vertical accounted for about five per cent of Infosys's overall revenues in the quarter ended June.

Now, the company has split the vertical and clubbed the utilities segment with the resources segment carved out from the manufacturing vertical.

Earlier, the manufacturing vertical was headed by Ashok Vemuri, who recently resigned from the company.

Balakrishnan, a board member and head of Finacle, Infosys's India business unit, and the company's business process outsourcing (BPO) unit, is seen as a contender for the post of chief executive when it falls vacant in 2015 after the retirement of incumbent S D Shibulal.

Grooming for top post
According to company and industry sources, the company is grooming Balakrishnan for the top position by ensuring he has exposure to diverse roles, especially client-facing activities.

B G Srinivas, the other contender for the coveted position, is board member and head of the company's Europe banking, financial services and insurance business.

One of the officials who confirmed Balakrishnan's additional responsibilities said the realignment was aimed at filling the gap created by recent exits at the company. "The company is trying not to disturb the existing structure too much," the official said.

"Whatever changes happen would be incremental ones, to fill gaps," the source added.

Around the time
N R Narayana Murthy returned to the company executive chairman in June, Balakrishnan was given additional responsibility of chairman, Lodestone, a Switzerland-based management consultancy firm acquired by Infosys in September 2012.

On Wednesday, the company handed out formal promotion letters to several employees. These promotions had been announced in July and would be "effective from July", an Infosys spokesperson told Business Standard on the phone.

Since the exit of Ashok Vemuri, the posts of head of Americas, and global head of manufacturing and engineering services at the company have been vacant.

Besides, Vemuri was also given interim charge of head of sales, after the resignation of Basab Pradhan in June. The company might consider doing away with the post of global head of sales, according to the new structure, sources said.

First Published: Fri, September 06 2013. 00:49 IST