Days after Nandan Nileakni took over as the non-executive chairman of Infosys, co-founder NR Narayana Murthy has reiterated that the previous management, led by Vishal Sikka, had disregarded the values of corporate governance and compromised transparency in the IT major.
In an investor call in Bangalore, Narayana Murthy expressed confidence at Nilekani to lead Infosys while lashing out against the previous board for the allegations it had made against him.
Murthy cited the Board's "inconsistent responses" on the issue of severance package paid to ex-CFO, Mr. Rajiv Bansal in October 2015. Murthy categorically targeted former Infosys Chairman R Seshasayee and the Board for not coming out clean on the matter, and instead "misleading" the shareholders.
"Given such a set of inconsistent responses from the Board, would not any concerned shareholder come to the conclusion that the Board was not being transparent and was, perhaps, misleading us, the shareholders?" Murthy said after detailing the Board's statements.
Murthy also quoted the whistle-blower, who complains against the management had appeared in the media, on how Seshasayee had lied at an AGM. "In the AGM in July, Seshasayee lies about the reason for payments made to the ex-CFO claiming it was made in consideration of his long service and to protect the company from its secrets being compromised. In reality, it was paid to protect to the secrets of the CEO and the Board," Murthy quoted the whistleblower in the investor call.
Nilekani, however, has voiced his faith in Nandan Nilekani to bring back the "glory days" of Infosys. "I am confident that the management team and the professionals at Infosys will rally behind Nandan and bring back the glory days. Infoscions are second to none in competence and character," he said.
Murthy praised Nilekani for holding strong values while reminiscing the time he had hired him. "I have known Nandan for over 38 years ever since he walked into my office for a job. I gave him a very difficult IQ test and he passed it with flying colors. He is also a value-based person. He is the first among the hundreds of thousands of professionals who symbolized the byline of Infosys - Powered by Intellect; Driven by Values," he said.
"Having worked with Nandan for long, I know that he is a stickler for good corporate governance. Now, we can all sleep better knowing that, under his leadership, the corporate governance standard practised by Infosys will be on par with the global best standard. In fact, based on Nandan's media interviews and the recent changes in the board, I believe that corrective actions have already begun. As explained earlier, it is this kind of corrective and decisive action that I was looking for in the detailed report. These actions are now being taken. Therefore, we can all move forward from here and look to the future," he added.