Infosys' Vishal Sikka says he's a Kshatriya warrior and here to stay for long

India's second largest software exporter Infosys led by chief executive officer Vishal Sikka, and the company's board headed by R Seshasayee have been facing flak, especially from the promoters, over the past week or so for not maintaining the highest corporate governance standards in the company.

Even as founding promoter of Infosys N R Narayana Murthy has clearly stated that governance issues remain a key concern, both the company's chairman of board and CEO have promised to maintain higher standards of transparency going ahead.

However, the board chairman declined to conduct a fresh investigation on the issue of severance package given to ex-CFO Rajiv Bansal, and stated that experts were consulted and the processes were followed in a correct manner.

"One is that do we need to re-probe that, I do not think so, because we have consulted the experts on this and they have said that whatever process we have gone through that is absolutely correct and we were quite conscious of that and despite, that we certainly thought that we could get some assurance which we have. So I do not think there is any need for looking at another probe," R Seshasayee said in a interview to CNBC-TV18.

Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka. Reuters

Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka. Reuters

Despite the ongoing drama unfolding in the media and public, Vishal Sikka said less than 10 percent, or probably around 5 percent of investors, posed question pertaining to the corporate governance issues. In fact, majority of investors were interested in knowing about the performance of the business and the role of automation, etc among others.

"I would say less than 10 percent, probably around 5 percent of the questions were around this particular set of matter – governance and so forth. Vast majority of the questions were about performance of the business and about the macro economic climate, the geo-political climate, role of automation and things of this nature," Vishal Sikka said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

In fact, the Infosys CEO described the whistleblower's letter on governance issues as a direct, reckless, malicious, slanderous and personal attack on him by diabolical minds, the Times of Indiareport said.

"I will not tolerate it. It is unacceptable. If somebody attacks me personally , we will follow whatever legal recourse we have to after that," Sikka said in an interview to ToI.

Sikka said he won't get bogged down by the ongoing challenges as he is a Kshatriya warrior, and he will stay for a long time in the company. The bigger endeavour will be to transform business, and keep pace with the role of automation and digitisation process, which is going to have a massive impact on the IT industry over the next three, five, seven year, said Sikka.

On being asked whether he favoured the acquisitions of Panaya and Skava because the shareholders of these companies were his ex-SAP colleagues, Sikka clarified that third parties had evaluated these buyouts and their valuations.

"Panaya is a picture perfect example of the automation story that I talk about. Hasso Plattner (SAP co-founder) was an investor in Panaya. That makes no difference. Infosys was aware of the company many years before," said Sikka to TOI.

On his goal of achieving $20 billion revenue target by 2020, Sikka said it's a collective responsibility of the management team and the company.

"Our revenue performance, market performance is something that's the collective responsibility of the management team and the company . Yes, these are distractions we can live without. We will do our jobs," said Sikka.

On reports of Murthy hinting at having Marti Subrahmanyam on the board of Infosys as a co-chair, Seshasayee said the board will take a decision in the interest of shareholders at large, the ToI report added.


Published Date: Feb 14, 2017 01:21 pm | Updated Date: Feb 14, 2017 01:21 pm


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