Murthy steps down as Infosys Chairman

Monday, 22 August 2011 00:42 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Bangalore (PTI): N.R. Narayana Murthy stepped down as the Chairman of Infosys on Friday, bringing the curtains down on his 30-years of illustrious innings at the helm, even as he sought to inspire the new leadership team and the employees to take the company to greater heights.

At a farewell ceremony at the Nasdaq-listed company’s headquarters here this evening, Murthy outlined his vision for the $6-billion IT firm.

Infosys should now aspire to become a $60-billion firm and “who knows, hopefully, a $600-billion company”, the iconic business leader said. “When I thought of (starting) Infosys on 29 December 1980, I frankly did not think I will bid goodbye to an Infosys of this size and this proportion,” he added.

Murthy co-founded the company with six professionals 30 years ago and now it has a workforce of more than 1.3 lakhs.

He said the company had grown well in the last 30 years in terms of revenues, profits, employee strength, number of investors and market capitalisation.

“However, what is most gratifying to all of us is the respect that this company and its leaders have received over the last several years,” said Murthy, who was given a standing ovation at the function. He said Infosys must exist for hundreds of years to add value to society and expand its operations to every country on the planet.

Murthy, who ended his formal operational association with the company and would now don the role of Chairman Emeritus, said he does not believe in any legacy.

“For me, the past is dead and gone. And whatever little work I had to do, I have done to the best of my ability”, he said, adding that if lessons learnt in the past are put to use and practices become better, it would create a bright future for the company.

“I don’t want to be nostalgic”, said Murthy, who was at his usual self and showed no special emotion on the last day in office.

Exhorting the employees to seek excellence, he said performance is the only way to get respect from stakeholders.

“There is no shortcut to this. Performance brings recognition, recognition brings respect and respect brings power,” Murthy said.

He appealed to the Infosys leadership team to “resurrect” the fast-track leadership programme started by him which was “somehow abandoned”, and stressed the need to measure performance at the individual level and not at the team level.

Murthy said such an approach would give incentive to high-performers in teams, and average performers to strive hard and become high-performers.

“If we don’t do this (measure performance at individual level), I personally believe we will bring down our productivity to mediocre levels, average levels,” he said.