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The Economic Times - - Com­pa­nies & Econ­omy -

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.

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