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Narayana Murthy Hits Back at Infosys Board After Vishal Sikka's Resignation

“I have read the statement issued by the Board of Directors of Infosys. I am extremely anguished by the allegations, tone and tenor of the statements. I voluntarily left the Board in 2014 and am not seeking any money, position for children or power.”

News18.com

Updated:August 18, 2017, 3:53 PM IST
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Narayana Murthy Hits Back at Infosys Board After Vishal Sikka's Resignation
File photo of Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy.
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New Delhi: Infosys founder Narayana Murthy has hit back at the company’s Board which had blamed him for Vishal Sikka’s exit as CEO and MD.

In a statement, Murthy said the “tone and tenor” of the statement had “extremely anguished” him.

“I have read the statement issued by the Board of Directors of Infosys. I am extremely anguished by the allegations, tone and tenor of the statements. I voluntarily left the Board in 2014 and am not seeking any money, position for children or power.”

“My concern primarily was the deteriorating standard of corporate governance which I have repeatedly brought to the notice of the Infosys board,” Murthy said.

“It is below my dignity to respond to such baseless insinuations. However, several shareholders who have read the whistle-blower report have told me that it is hard to believe a report produced by a set of accused, giving a clean chit to the accused, and the accused refusing to disclose why they got a clean chit! They say that this is not the way an impartial and objective investigation should be held,” the statement said.

“I will reply to these allegations in the right manner and in the right forum and at the appropriate time,” Murthy said.

Sikka, under whose three-year tenure Infosys' revenue rose by about 25 per cent, did not himself name Murthy directly as the reason for his exit but said he faced "false, baseless, malicious and increasingly personal attacks".

His resignation follows a year-long acrimony between the Board and the high-profile founders led by Murthy, who raised issues of "poor corporate governance" and executive pay as well as doubts over acquisitions.

Founders still hold 12.75 per cent in Infosys.

While Pravin Rao, currently chief operating officer, has been named interim CEO, Sikka will become executive vice-chairman for $1 annual salary to help find new MD and CEO latest by March 31, 2018.

The latest provocation seems to be Murthy claiming in an email, which found its way to the media, that he had been told by Infosys independent directors that Sikka was more suited as a Chief Technology Officer than Chief Executive Officer.

Infosys Board came out with a strongly worded statement defending Sikka's performance and ruled out a formal role for any of co-founders in the company's governance.

The company Board alleged that a letter authored by Murthy "has been released to various media houses attacking the integrity of Board and management alleging falling corporate governance standards in the company".

"Mr Murthy's letter contains factual inaccuracies, already-disproved rumours, and statements extracted out of context from his conversations with Board members," it said. The Board said Murthy has repeatedly made "inappropriate" demands, which is inconsistent with his stated desire for stronger governance.

The Board is to meet on Saturday to consider a Rs 13,000 crore share buyback — a key demand of the founders for putting cash with the company to use.

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