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Nilekani in damage-control mode, to focus on CEO search, new board, strategy

The co-founder said he would be able to offer more details of the strategy by October

BS Web Team & Agencies  |  New Delhi 

Nandan Nilekani returns to infosys as chairman
Nandan Nilekani

Nandan Nilekani, who was named Infosys non-executive Chairman on Thursday, today said he would focus on bringing in stability and ensuring there were no "discordant" voices at the country's second-largest IT services firm.

Within hours of taking charge at the helm of Infosys, Nilekani got into a damage-control mode, seeking to calm investors' nerves in an early-morning conference call.

Nilekani told investors that he had come in to focus on the future of the company, take the company forward and deal with its challenges, adding that he would stay with the IT services company as long as necessary.

The company has been in a crisis over the past few months amid a stand-off between the founders and the management over allegations of corporate governance lapses.

"I am an admirer of N R Narayana Murthy... Will ensure Infosys, Murthy and other founders have a healthy relationship," he said.

He added that he would be able to offer more details of the strategy in October and was focused on bringing "complete stability".

"I will ensure there are no discordant voices in the company and everyone is on the same page," he asserted.

Nilekani said as the non-executive chairman, his role would be oversight, governance and functioning and to help with the CEO search that would look for internal and external candidates as well as Infosys "alumni".

He stressed that he would stay as long as necessary, but declined to put a timeline to his latest stint.

Read more: Will be at Infosys till stability returns, expect strategy by Oct: Nilekani

On Thursday night, the Infosys board was recast, with chairman R Seshasayee stepping down along with two other independent directors. Co-chair Ravi Venkatesan moved to the role of an independent director.

Stating that it was premature for him to comment on Infosys' strategy and earnings, Nilekani, the architect of Aadhaar, said he was committed to ensuring the highest standards of corporate governance were adhered to at Infosys.

Infosys is slated to host a press conference and another investor call later in the day.

Earlier, Vishal Sikka, the first non-founder CEO of Infosys, had stepped down last week blaming Murthy for creating an “untenable atmosphere”, sparking a sell-off for Infosys shares and wiping billions of dollars off the company’s market value.

First Published: Fri, August 25 2017. 11:43 IST