In­fosys Role for NRN if He Wishes

Co-chair­man Ravi Venkate­san says Narayana Murthy has not yet in­di­cated he wants a for­mal role

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Bengaluru: In­fosys’ board will con­sider giv­ing founder NR Narayana Murthy a for­mal role if he wishes to have one, the com­pany’s co-chair­man Ravi Venkate­san said in an in­ter­view. Murthy has said leav­ing In­fosys is one of his big­gest re­grets and has pub­licly cas­ti­gated the com­pany for poor cor­po­rate gov­er­nance. There is a grow­ing sense that giv­ing Murthy a role at the com­pany could help sort out the prob­lems be­tween the board and the founder. “If he were to wish that, we would ab­so­lutely con­sider it,” Venkate­san said in an in­ter­view with ET NOW.

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Venkate­san added that Murthy had not yet in­di­cated that he wanted a role at the com­pany. Murthy did not re­spond to an email from ET ask­ing if he would con­sider re-join­ing In­fosys. Should Murthy re­turn, it would make this the sec­ond time he has re­turned to In­fosys. In 2013, he re­turned as ex­ec­u­tive chair­man as the com­pany strug­gled with growth and a slew of ex­ec­u­tive de­par­tures. Murthy and In­fosys’ board have been at log­ger­heads for over a year over a slew of is­sues, in­clud­ing the out­size sev­er­ance pay ac­corded to former CFO Ra­jiv Bansal.

The founder has also asked the board to re­lease the full re­port of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion car­ried out by Gib­son Dunn and Con­trol Risk into al­le­ga­tions that CEO Sikka ben­e­fit­ted fi­nan­cially from the com­pany’s ac­qui­si­tion of Panaya. In­fosys has de­clined to re­lease the full re­port and Venkate­san jus­ti­fied that de­ci­sion. “The en­tire re­port con­tains enor­mous amount of de­tails and that is not deemed ad­vised,” Venkate­san said. He added that if peo­ple were not sat­is­fied and had more in­for­ma­tion to sub­stan­ti­ate the al­le­ga­tions, then they should bring them out.

“It is en­tirely pos­si­ble that some­body is not sat­is­fied. And if there is any shred of ev­i­dence that they have, I think they they should be more forth­com­ing and bring it to the at­ten­tion of the reg­u­la­tor or Gib­son Dunn or any­one else so that it can be looked at,” Venkate­san said. “But in the ab­sence of that, we have to pre­sume peo­ple are in­no­cent un­til proven guilty and if you keep at this at some point it de­gen­er­ates into a witch-hunt.” The com­pany had re­ceived two anony­mous let­ters in Fe­bru­ary that al­leged wrong­do­ing in some of its ac­qui­si­tions, im­proper con­tract­ing and CEO com­pen­sa­tion and ex­pen­di­tures. The Gib­son Dunn in­ves­ti­ga­tion was the third the com­pany has con­ducted to ad­dress the ques­tions that have been raised. In­fosys re­leased the find­ings in June. The in­ves­ti­ga­tion’s re­port to the au­dit com­mit­tee cleared the com­pany of all wrong­do­ing.

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