The former CEO of Infosys Vishal Sikka resigned on August 18. His exit is often blamed on excessive interference from its founder Narayan Murthy.
Refuting complaints about his interference in the company’s affairs that has perhaps led to Sikkaâ€™s resignation, Murthy said that he has to maintain the institutionâ€™s health in an interview with Financial Times.
â€œWhatever I can do to maintain the health of the institution, I must do,â€ Murthy said. â€œIt is my responsibility as a shareholder to question the board if the governance falls below the expected levels.â€
Murthyâ€™s doubts appeared when in May 2016 the company decided to pay $2.6 million in severance amount to former chief financial officer Rajiv Bansal. On inquiry, the board could not provide him with a satisfactory answer. His suspicions regarding the board’s injudicious decisions were further increased by an anonymous letter from a whistleblower in February.
The letter hinted that Bansal payout was probably the price to buy his silence for a $200 million acquisition of an Israeli company in 2015.
â€œAs people who were always used to a very high level of transparency and accountability, this agreement to make an excessive payment to Mr Bansal appeared an aberration to us,â€ Murthy said.
Infosys, on the other hand, had countered that it hired American law firm, Gibson Dunn, to investigate the Israeli acquisition and that it â€œdid not find any evidence whatsoever of wrongdoing.â€ It added, that Murthyâ€™s â€œcontinuous assaultâ€ eventually led to Sikkaâ€™s resignation, Financial Times reported.
Murthy, apparently, is not satisfied with the Gibson Dunn investigation and demands that its full report should be released.
As a replacement to Sikka, Infosys brought in Nandan Nilekani as Infosysâ€™s chairman on August 24. His appointment has been welcomed by both the company and Murthy.
However, the company is still hunting for a permanent chief executive to shape the companyâ€™s long term strategies.