Infosys Role for NRN if He Wishes
Co-chairman Ravi Venkatesan says Narayana Murthy has not yet indicated he wants a formal role
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.