Image may Take a Hit
Trouble has been brewing at Infosys for over a year. The large severance paid to the company’s former chief financial officer, Rajiv Bansal, disclosed in 2016, and Sikka’s raised compensation brought matters to a head. Promoters are also upset with the appointment of Punita Kumar-Sinha, an investment banker and wife of Union minister Jayant Sinha, as an independent director. Murthy, in an interview to ET, questioned the actions of Infosys chairman R Seshasayee and independent director Jeffrey Lehman. On Thursday, Sikka wrote to employees asking them not to be distracted by speculation about the company’s commitment to governance, integrity and values, and highlighted the improvements the company has made in his tenure.
SERIES OF TROUBLES
Infosys employees said they were worried about the company’s image getting dented. “It seems some trouble or the other has been hovering over Infosys of late—first the murder of the Pune employee and now this,” said an Infosys employee in Chennai.
In January, 25-year-old Rasila Raju was found murdered at her workstation in Infosys’ Pune campus, leading to the arrest of one of the security guards at the company’s office.
Infosys, meanwhile, attempted to project normalcy with a statement announcing celebrations of an annual folk festival, Ellu Bella, at its Bengaluru campus.
“To commemorate this special occasion, a model of ‘halli mane’, a traditional village hut, was installed in the campus lawn using scrapyard materials,” the company said in the statement, with colourful pictures of the celebration.
It is not just Infosys employees bemused by storm that has gathered over their company.
“With Infosys, there is always something. First it was everyone leaving, then there was the murder, now there is this new issue. I hope it does not drag on because both Vishal Sikka and Narayana Murthy are well-respected,” said an employee with one of India’s largest IT services companies, declining to be identified. Another employee at a Tata Group company joked that his firm was not “the only one with housekeeping troubles,” referring to the recent friction between the Tata Sons board and its now ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry.