An era ended for IndiaÆs information technology industry on Sunday, August 20 when Infosys Technologies chairman NR Narayana Murthy stepped down. Murthy spent 25 years at the head of the company which he co-founded with other software engineers (including Nandan Nilekani - current chief executive officer) in 1981. He commands a huge amount of respect both in India and elsewhere in the world for his vision and integrity in creating Infosys.

Murthy reached the companyÆs mandatory retirement age of 60 on Sunday. He will continue in the position of non-executive chairman and mentor of Infosys. Infosys did not disclose if the chairmanÆs position would be filled by anyone else.

Infosys, which was the first Indian company to list on the Nasdaq in 1999, celebrated its 25th anniversary on July 30 in Mysore. On the occasion IndiaÆs finance minister, P Chidambaram (who was chief guest) said ôwe are here today celebrating the success of a great enterprise that makes all Indians proud and that places India among the frontline nations of the world in software and technologyö. Murthy had said ôit is a matter of great pride to see your child grow up, embrace a good value system, seek high aspirations, and achieve more than what you ever thought was possibleàInfosys is one such child.ö

Infosys has had a generous stock option policy for employees since it was founded and has created wealth for a substantial number of its employees. As per the companyÆs latest Bombay Stock Exchange filing dated July 12, 2006 (for the quarter ended June 30) Narayana Murthy, his wife and two children collectively hold 5.88% of Infosys' stock. Infosys closed at Rs1762 ($38) on Friday, August 18.