Ashok Vemuri
Ashok VemuriWikimedia commons

 India's second-largest software exporter Infosys seems to be in talks with former top employee Ashok Vemuri for the post of chief executive officer (CEO), the Hindu BusinessLine reported.

Vemuri is currently working as the CEO of Xerox Business Services and has previously headed iGATE Corp, which is now owned by Capgemini.

After the unceremonious exit of Vishal Sikka in mid-August, the software major has been aggressively looking for a CEO to lead the company from front.

Sikka stepped aside citing alleged baseless criticism from the co-founders over strategy and compensation.

The business daily reported that global executive search firm Egon Zehnder, which has been tasked to hire the CEO along with the Infosys's Nominations Committee, has been pursuing Vemuri for the top job over the past two weeks.

However, sources told BusinessLine that negotiations are still at an early stage. "Infosys has reached out to him but we are still not sure whether he has made up his mind," said the sources.

Vemuri has previously served in Infosys as the global head of manufacturing and the Americas. The possible reason the Bengaluru-based IT major reached to Vemuri is his prior understanding of Infosys culture and leadership roles in US offices.

Moreover, factors like Vemuri's client connections in the US, and even more importantly marquee banking customers like Goldman Sachs, could help Infosys scale up its large client accounts.

Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy had recently hit back at the company board again, saying he was "disappointed". Murthy highlighted that the board has still not addressed questions he raised in August about poor governance and excessive severance payments.

For the new CEO, the biggest challenge would be to address the concerns of co-founders.

The business daily quoted Peter Schumacher, CEO, Value Leadership Group, as saying that the biggest challenge facing a new CEO would be how to manage the relationship with Murthy.

"The many risks vested in this challenge are surely hampering the search process," he said.