In a first, Infosys has appointed an external candidate to head its human resource (HR) function.

Krish Shankar, who is currently HR head for South Asia at Philips India, will join Bengaluru-based Infosys in October this year.

Shankar has already resigned his job at Philips India and is currently serving notice period, Livemint reported, citing sources close to the development. 

The HR role at Infosys became vacant in April, after a management rejig saw its HR head Srikantan Moorthy moving to a new delivery function role reporting to COO U B Pravin Rao.

Hema Ravichandar, T V Mohandas Pai, Bikramjit Maitra and Nandita Gurjar have spearheaded the HR function at Infosys and they were all from within the organisation. 

Prior to Philips India, Shankar - an alumnus of Stanford Graduate School of Business - had worked as executive director for human resources at telecom major Bharti Airtel. Overall, Shankar has experience of nearly 30 years in HR, his longest tenure being at Unilever where he worked for two decades. He was also associated with Eicher Motors.

Shankar's appointment comes at a time when Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka is trying to drastically change India's second largest software services company into a next-generation services provider.

"Vishal and the board clearly had one mandate given to the executive search firm. We should get someone who is truly a thought leader and has helped transform the workforce. And it was not just limited to find the candidates from the IT services alone. So we are happy that Krish has decided to join," said an executive familiar with the development.

Executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles is rumoured to have helped Infosys in the search, The Times of India reported.

The company had about 1,79,000 employees as of 30 June, 2015.