CHURUMURI POLL: Why did Mohandas Pai quit?

In normal circumstances, the exit of a lone individual from a giant company would not have attracted too much attention. But then, T.V. Mohandas Pai is no ordinary employee; he was chief financial officer (CFO) of India’s bellwether information technology company, Infosys, and a director on its board.

Pai claims that it was not a sudden decision; that he had decided to leave a year ago; that he discussed his exit with Infy chief mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy nine months ago (a conversation Murthy remembers), and that he had said “no” when asked if he was looking at a higher position like a COO or CEO.

However, most media reports hint at the opposite: that he was indeed piqued at the possibility of never becoming CEO in the normal course of things.

Rumours that Pai, the most visible face of the company after the departure of Murthy and Nandan Nilekani with a view on everything under (and beyond) the Bangalore sun, wanted to enter politics, have been shot down by Pai himself, saying he wants to devote 30 per cent of his tie to higher education.

Pai, 51, says he never had aspirations to be CEO and that he had left the company to pave the way for youngsters, although just a week earlier, he had featured in an Economic Times lead story saying he was “front runner” to be chief operating officer (COO). In other words, the claim that it was not a sudden decision or that he wasn’t looking for a bigger role are both bogus.

However, most media reports on Pai’s resignation also overlook the enormous activity that’s been building up on the human resources (HR) front, an area Pai was directly involved in as director.

Attrition rate continues to be very high. A controversial HR initiative called iRace that resulted in the demotions of 4,000-5,000 staff has attracted much criticism. An Infosys employee (a Muslim) fired from his job after the 2008 Jaipur blasts, has been ordered to be reinstated by the courts. And, above all, Infosys is facing plenty of heat in the United States over misuse of H1B visas and age discrimination.

So, why do you think Pai left?

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13 Responses to “CHURUMURI POLL: Why did Mohandas Pai quit?”

  1. 'mudi'malnad Says:

    ???? To join the ‘other Murthy’

  2. madan Says:

    does anyone remember if this “other Murthy” a.k.a phaneesh murthy ever punished for the sexual harassment case filed against him? whatever happened to that case?

  3. DailyBread Says:

    Not “other Murthy”, I think he is joining Murthy.

  4. Balaji Says:

    Not to worry much! He will get more time to take part in pointless debates in 24/7 newschannels alongside Suhel Seth!
    Soon, the Government will appoint him as the chairman UDAI reforms Authority!!

  5. vinay Says:

    he might join the great Sibal bandwagon

  6. Non-IT Says:

    Bangalore Mirror ran a headline ‘‘My son asked me how am I going to pay his college fees’
    His annual pay packet is of Rs 3.13 crore and still he thinks that his quote will sympathizes with IT people of his departure from Infosys.
    Crazy or what?

  7. rajeshr Says:

    Wow darling of TOI will have a full time hob in TOI, or will TOI care him anymore…..

  8. cp Says:

    The gossip is that the Malayalis (KG and SDS) outmanoeuvred the Konkani/Kannadiga group (NRN, NN and MP). As usual.

  9. maisuru Says:

    He was just an arrogant and angry Finance Executive at Prakash Road lines…. It was infy which made him what he is and he did not contribute to infy except may be in manipulating the share market.

  10. twistleton Says:

    Because he hadn’t had a shave in a really long time.

  11. 'mudi'malnad Says:

    TO(PA)I is reporting thay he has been offred to co chair BSE(Bangalore school of Economics)!

  12. sandeep deshpande Says:

    Mr Pai has many accomplishments to his credit and notable is the listing of Infy on Nasdaq and getting ICAI shield for best presented accounts for many years. I was also with Infosys BPO and felt that he was more of a Cfo type person than a HR or a business acumen person. Being good with numbers and creating the nos is diff kettle of fish. As chairman BPO growth wasnt there actually biggest blow was when amitabh chaudhry left and very beaurucratic madrasi swami took over and Today INfosys BPO is not in top 5 bpo companies of India also. besides the tamil and kerala lobby in Infosys as a whole is too strong. Its not a really global company as much as NRN will like still people to belive. Plus complacency, turf wars and ego bigger than each other which are common to such companies where there is no clear owner like Premji or TATA has compounded matters for Infosys. they must learn from L&T how to manage a professional company and not get too media hyper on eevrything . If the biggies at Infy have guts thye must join politics rather than coming on TV shows and criticising anything and everything just becoz a few years ago besides reliance Infy was the only company which made so many crorepatis. clearly Infosys has lost some of its old rhythm and glamour due to ego issues amongst a few top folks and caste politics which is very evident in the leadership demograhics

  13. 'mudi'malnad Says:

    §not for post§
    KV Kamath to head infosys. An outsider 2 infy interesting

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