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Nandan Nilekani Backs at Infosys Helm, Life Has Come Full Circle for Him

Nandan Nilekani, 62, who was CEO of the company between 2002 and 2007 and is credited as the architect of the world's largest biometric ID card programme Aadhaar, will take over as Chairman of Infosys.

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Updated:August 25, 2017, 10:41 AM IST
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Nandan Nilekani Backs at Infosys Helm, Life Has Come Full Circle for Him
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New Delhi: A decade after leaving, Nandan Nilekani is back at the helm of Infosys and will remain the software giant’s chairman for two years, bringing hopes of stability in the IT major which was rattled by Vihsal Sikka’s exit as CEO and MD.

Nandan Nilekani, 62, who was CEO of the company between 2002 and 2007 and is credited as the architect of the world's largest biometric ID card programme Aadhaar, will take over as Chairman of Infosys, replacing R Seshasayee who quit, with immediate effect.

Tweeting on his return to the IT major, Nilekani said life has come a full circle for him now, as he joined Infosys at the age of 26 and is not rejoining it aged 62.



His return and co-chairman Ravi Venkatesan’s resignation along with that of Seshasayee brought about a near-complete overhaul of the nine-member Infosys board, meeting key and persistent demands of the founders led by NR Narayana Murthy.

Infosys faced a leadership crisis after first non-founder chief executive Vishal Sikka abruptly quit on August 18, blaming founders for slander. On the same day, the Board in an unusual move, made a scathing attack on Murthy, blaming his "misguided campaign" for Sikka's resignation.

Murthy and other former executives like ex-CFO V Balakrishnan insisted that their concerns for past several months pertained to alleged lapses in corporate governance, including irregularities in the $200 million acquisition of Israeli firm Panaya.

A dozen institutional investors, including HDFC Asset Management, ICICI Prudential Asset Management and Birla SunLife Asset Management — who together own roughly 10 per cent of Infosys shares — also wrote to the Board seeking return of Nilekani, arguing that he enjoyed the confidence of clients, shareholders and employees.

In a late evening announcement on Thursday, Infosys said its board of directors has "unanimously" approved Nilekani's appointment, terming him an "iconic leader."

Seshasayee, whose resignation along with those of other key executives including Sikka has been accepted by Board, said, "Nandan is an ideal leader for Infosys at this stage in company's development."

"His appointment will allow Infosys to focus on strategic changes it needs to make, in order to capitalise on the attractive opportunities in the years ahead," he said.
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