‘It’s Our Fidu­ciary Duty to Lis­ten to the Voices of all Share­hold­ers’

It is not good that it came out in the pub­lic this way... I am thank­ful to the in­vestors. They are very sup­port­ive

The Economic Times - - Disruption: Startups & Tech -

In­fosys CEO Vishal Sikka de­nied that any red flags were raised dur­ing the Panaya ac­qui­si­tion and ad­mit­ted that he is hurt by the ir­re­spon­si­ble and ma­li­cious leaks to the me­dia. In an in­ter­view with TV Ma­halingam and Megha Man­davia, Sikka also said too much is be­ing made out of Ra­jiv Bansal’s sev­er­ance. Edited ex­cerpts:

Do you see NR Narayana Murthy’s com­ments in the me­dia as an at­tack on you? He built the com­pany. Peo­ple go talk to him. He feels pas­sion­ately about it. All the founders, es­pe­cially Murthy, have a very spe­cial place. It is also our fidu­ciary duty to make sure that we lis­ten to the voices of all share­hold­ers. I don’t see it as a con­flict. It is not good that it came out in the pub­lic this way.

My view is that too big a deal has been made out of Ra­jiv Bansal’s sev­er­ance, David’s (Kennedy) sev­er­ance, my com­pen­sa­tion and Pu­nita’s (Ku­mar Sinha) ap­point­ment. I am thank­ful to the in­vestors. They are very sup­port­ive of we are do­ing.

Did Ra­jiv Bansal raise any red flags on Panaya ac­qui­si­tion? There is noth­ing there. He was the CFO at the time we went through the en­tire process. It was the first time we were do­ing it so we were ex­tra care­ful. I have no mem­ory of that what­so­ever. It is a soft­ware com­pany based


out of Is­rael, build­ing au­toma­tion soft­ware for au­tomat­ing the upgrade process of pack­aged ap­pli­ca­tions. It is a picture per­fect ex­am­ple of what can im­prove pro­duc­tiv­ity of our back-end work­ers. You can imag­ine the is­sue re­jec­tion. It does not make these non­sen­si­cal sto­ries true. I think the num­ber of peo­ple talk­ing about it is not a re­flec­tion of some­thing be­ing there. And this is­sue of SAP, it is just 5-6% — a mi­nor in­vest­ment. To bring the chair­man of SAP into this is ab­so­lute non­sense.

How was the board of SAP dif­fer­ent from In­fosys board? Ger­man boards are very dif­fer­ent than In­dian boards. The ex­ec­u­tive board is a sep­a­rate en­tity. It is a clear sep­a­ra­tion.

Are you hurt by the whole is­sue? There is a lot of ir­re­spon­si­bil­ity and ma­li­cious­ness in what you see…The peo­ple who are feed­ing the wrong sto­ries to the me­dia. To be clear, I am not talk­ing about the founders. Lot of these peo­ple are by­standers, Mon­day morn­ing quar­ter­backs. You don’t ap­pre­ci­ate that. It is a price you pay for be­ing at In­fosys. I try to not let it get to me. Life is too short.

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