The announcement was made on Twitter by Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka, who said that he will step down as CEO at the end of this year but will continue serving as chairman until a successor is named.
Nilekani was born in Mumbai, India. In his early years, he worked as an engineer for IBM and rose through the ranks to become the company’s senior vice president for operations. He joined Infosys in 2001, where he was tasked with turning around the company’s struggling IT services business by improving its technology and processes. In 2005, Nilekani helped lead Infosys to become an outsourcing company. He also oversaw Infosys’ acquisition of ThoughtWorks in 2008 and Wipro in 2009.
Infosys, one of India’s leading IT companies, has announced that it will be hiring its next chairman from outside the founding family. This is a change from their usual practice of choosing a founder’s son or daughter to fill the role.
In addition to announcing Sikka’s retirement announcement, Infosys also confirmed that it has hired Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani as an adviser until his replacement can be found. Nilekani was instrumental in founding Infosys and its parent company NIIT in 1981 with business partner Kris Gopalakrishnan; he left Infosys in 1988 but returned as CEO in 2001 after his son Raghavendra left for Microsoft (MSFT).
In 2013, Nilekani stepped down as CEO at age 57 following a series of health issues that had kept him off work for several months; he was succeeded by Vishal Sikka who has since been replaced by Pravin Rao (who left his post just months later).
Infosys has announced that its chairman and founder NR Narayana Murthy will be stepping down from the chairmanship of the company. He will, however, remain on the board of directors and continue to be a member of its executive council.
Murthy has been a major figure in the Indian IT industry for over 20 years now, having co-founded Infosys in 1981. He became chairman in 2007 and received his honorary degrees from four different universities including Harvard University, Princeton University, and Stanford University.
The next Infosys chairman may not be a founding member of the company, unlike the past three chairmen. The company, which is one of India’s most valuable firms, has not yet announced its next leader. But Nilekani, who retired from Infosys in March after serving as its president for about three years, is being considered for the top post.
Nilekani was once seen as a possible successor to Vishal Sikka as CEO of Infosys. But he stepped down from that role in May last year after a board meeting ended without an agreement on his terms of service.
Nilekani joined Infosys in 1977 and has held various positions in IT and financial services companies including McKinsey & Co., Boston Consulting Group, and Goldman Sachs. He holds an MBA from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from IIT Bombay.
Nilekani was appointed as the chairman of Infosys in December 2018 for a three-year term. He has served as an advisor to Infosys since February 2017, when he took over from UB Pravin Rao, who had stepped down after 17 years at the company from his role as its CEO. The company said in a statement on Tuesday that it was looking for someone who could take over both the CEO and chairman positions.