Nandan Nilekani 2.0 at Infosys?

The former chairman of UIDAI, co-founder and former CEO of Infosys is expected to return as non-executive chairman following Vishal Sikka’s sudden resignation. 

After a tumultuous week at Infosys following formet CEO and MD Vishal Sikka’s resignation on August 18, the company’s share price had slipped below Rs 900 for the first time in last four years, reaching almost Rs 866 on August 22. But, things might just be looking up after all.

Co-founder and former CEO, Nandan Nilekani is allegedly set to return to Infosys as non-executive chairman in the next few days and the market approves. The company’s share price advanced by more than 2 percent after CFO V Balakrishnan and 12 investors expressed their wish to have Nilekani back on board to conduct a ‘clean up’.

Related: 5 controversies Infosys faced in recent times

He is expected to come back for a predetermined period to achieve a set of fixed goals, including choosing the next CEO, and restoring the faith of investors, employees and customers, reports Times of India. Nilekani was allegedly persuaded to return by several board members and big investors, and is expected to help the company come out of the rough patch left in the wake of Sikka’s sudden resignation.

"The math has to work out for Nilekani to return. It's almost certain that he will come back as a non-executive chairman, but it's not a done deal yet,” said an unnamed source in the report.

A look at Infosys’ CEOs


U B Pravin Rao

Aug 2017-present


Vishal Sikka




S D Shibulal




S Gopalakrishnan




Nandan Nilekani




Narayan Murthy



Nilekani’s arrival will lead to a reconstitution of the board and at least three to four directors are expected to resign, including chairman R Seshasayee, co-chairman Ravi Venkatesan, and directors Roopa Kudva and Jeff Lehman.

The wheels for his return began turning on Wednesday, after Murthy cancelled a meeting with an investor citing ill health. ToI’s unnamed source claimed that the two were discussing Nilekani’s return instead. 

Nilekani was the second CEO of Infosys after Narayan Murthy from 2002 till 2007, when he stepped aside on Murthy’s mandate and another co-founder S. Gopalakrishnan took his place. In 2009, he quit the company to join the UPA government to lead the UIDAI project and is the main architect of Aadhaar.

Related: Vishal Sikka’s journey at Infosy

In 2013, Nilekani had refused Murthy’s request to return to Infosys when the latter came back to help the company revive its tumbling revenue. It is left to see if Sikka, who’d decided to stay until March 31, 2018 as the executive vice chairman, will leave or assist in Nilekani’s mission. Speculations are also floating around whether Murthy would agree to join Infosys under Nilekani’s leadership.