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Leadership Failure at Infosys
Published: Jun-04-2013




Narayana Murthy- 2.0 will fail- because while he was away- the world changed and Infosys did not . It will fail because what got Infosys till here will not take it to the next level. It will fail because leadership in a battle demands symbols and flags which provide hope and instead of that he chose to unfurl his family mascot – Just this one action will take the wind out of a lot of young leaders at Infosys.  


Okay here is an alternate scenario- Mr. Murthy announces that he is coming back and says I need a team of young lieutenants to anchor various aspects of this battle we have to wage- lets find the best within Infosys- do a leadership assessment exercise, even a draw of lots for the best 20 candidates would have been considered more invigorating than parachuting his son to act as his confidante. You can take this for granted in Wipro- the Premji family owns more than 70% in the firm- that means its more or less a family concern! But this single act of desperation at Infosys will cost it at least 25-50 young leaders- who would be furiously updating their resumes and shooting them out like angry birds.



The ideal scenario would have been the following


  • Accept that they need fresh leadership

  • Bloodletting – Shibulal, Gopalkrishnan have been great but now the organisation needs new insights, new business, and people who look at it objectively not through the prism of glory past and tried and tested models

  • Tell the world that he is here to stabilize / and oversee a leadership and organizational transition

  • External - Talent Acquisition Strategy which should have used the “piggy bank” of cash reserves- in a manner that puts government excess to shame 

  • Internal- Talent acquisition/ succession planning strategy which gives supernormal bonuses/variables to the Haves (Leadership talent ) from the have- Nots.

  • Find a leadership team and transition out and make sure you do not leave anyone behind who is bitter and hence acts as a deterrent to the new leadership team – the Ottomans used to do this well- once the king announced his successor , his elite guards used to strangle the rest of the challengers to the throne ! 


Omar Farooq

Founder CEO at AceProHR 


  • Jun-05-2013
    I agree to most of the aspects but doesn't quite agree that Murthy cannot transform ailing Infosys. I think he is a visionary and a super star and though out for the company for a while he definitely knows what it would take to march company to next level. Would suggest not to question this great leaders capabilities.!!
    Rajneesh | Jun-05-2013 02:21 PM
  • Jun-05-2013
    I agree completely, It would need leadership 3.0 and murthy 3.0 to transform Infy and take its, I suppose correct infy 3.0 strategy, to its execution... Old Mrthy ideas and his ways woyuld not work....he can oversee and again be a mentor with fresh set of leadership...Bingo....Though I believe infy 3.0 is way ahead of its peers in terms of vision ....
    Gautam Jain | Jun-05-2013 11:23 AM
  • Jun-05-2013
    Good insights Omar Sir.
    Sahil Chopra | Jun-05-2013 10:18 AM

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