Nilekani and Murthy lobbied for the “best person” to fill key executive positions.

Nandan Nilekani, one of the co-founders and the current chairman of Infosys, indicated on Wednesday that the next chairman of the board of directors would be a non-founding member.

“There is no Plan B; when I have to give up chairmanship, it would be to a non-founding member,” Nilekani said, adding that he did not want to “be there for longer than necessary”, but did not offer a timeline for the transition. Nilekani was speaking at a founders’ panel at Infosys’ corporate headquarters in Bengaluru.

Nilekani’s comments come on the heels of founder N.R. Narayana Murthy’s remarks about giving “equal opportunity” to “every individual” if they were the “best person” for a crucial managerial post.

Murthy’s remark came in response to an inquiry about whether not permitting the ” of founders and promoters of Infosys was wrong.” of Infosys founders and promoters was incorrect.

Non-founding members have previously chaired the Infosys board. When Nilekani returned to Infosys, he replaced co-chairs R. Seshasayee and Ravi Venkatesan, who had resigned along with then-CEO Vishal Sikka.

While Seshasayee was the chairman of IndusInd Bank before joining Infosys, Venkatesan was the chairman of Microsoft India and also sat on the board of Bank of Baroda.

Nilekani, who left Infosys as co-chairman in July 2009 to lead the government’s Aadhaar identification project as chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (Uidai), returned to the business he co-founded in 1981 in August 2017. Nilekani’s return as chairman came at a difficult time for Infosys, following the untimely departure of the company’s first non-founding-member CEO, Sikka, when a quarrel between Sikka and Murthy became public.

In the five years subsequently, Infosys’ yearly revenue has climbed from 68,484 crore in FY17 to 1.24 trillion in FY22, with Nilekani and Salil Parekh at the lead.

Murthy stated his support for the next generation of Infosys founders in important leadership roles at an event commemorating the company’s four decades in business. “I stand corrected—every individual should be given an equal opportunity if he is the best candidate for the job. I was previously concerned that an unworthy applicant would be appointed to a crucial managerial position. “However, talent and competence come first,” Murthy remarked.

According to industry analysts and stakeholders, it needs to be seen how Nilekani’s prediction pans out in the future. According to Abhisek Mukherjee, director of management consultancy and advising company Auctus Advisors, choosing a chairman from outside the founders’ circle would demonstrate board members’ confidence in ceding “control.” “on important decisions. “However, there is precedent for family members in top posts, such as in Wipro. So far, Infosys has resisted, and hiring a future chief executive who is not one of the company’s founders would be a positive move in the corporate governance landscape “He continued.