Dec 20, 2013, 09.34 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

V Balakrishnan quits Infosys, to turn entrepreneur

In yet another senior departure, V Balakrishnan, director and former CFO, has quit Infosys on Friday, sending shockwaves across the industry.

V Balakrishnan, director and former CFO of tech behemoth Infosys , has resigned, effective December 31, 2013.

Seen as a frontrunner to the CEO post, Balakrishnan’s exit will come as a huge blow to the company that has seen a string of high-level exits since founder Narayana Murthy took charge of the firm again this year.

This is the eighth high-profile exit the company has witnessed in the past six month and the second in 24 hours. Yesterday, Subrahmanyam Goparaju, head of Infosys Labs, also called it quits .

"Bala's exit is a big loss for Infosys. He was one of the best CFOs India ever produced," Mohandas Pai, a former vice president with Infosys said.

Discussing the string of high-profile exits that have rocked the company, Pai added that the company still has veterans such as BG Srinivas and Pravin Rao but pointed out that the firm had, over the past 20 years, lost three generations of leaders. “There certainly will be a gap between the chairman and the rest of the people, because they have all come much later.”

'Had been considering exiting since a year'

Speaking with CNBC-TV18, Balakrishnan said he had been considering the decision since a year, and added that he intended to venture into private equity and was awaiting SEBI approval.

He dismissed speculation that his resignation had anything to do with the return of Murthy as Infosys chief. "Murthy's return is the best thing to have happened to Infosys."

Infosys names replacements

In a statement, Chairman Narayana Murthy said it was "difficult to imagine Infosys without Bala's passion and commitment." The company, however, was quick to announce that Kris Gopalakrishnan would be heading the BPO business in the interim while BG Srinivas would take over as Lodestone chairman.

The company also announced that Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw had been inducted as an independent member of the board.

Updates to follow...

Infosys stock price

On April 16, 2014, Infosys closed at Rs 3156.40, down Rs 104.05, or 3.19 percent. The 52-week high of the share was Rs 3847.20 and the 52-week low was Rs 2190.00.

The company's trailing 12-month (TTM) EPS was at Rs 177.52 per share as per the quarter ended March 2014. The stock's price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio was 17.78. The latest book value of the company is Rs 805.47 per share. At current value, the price-to-book value of the company is 3.92.

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