Infosys defends pay hike to Vishal Sikka, says decision in co's interest

'With regard to concerns on governance... we would like to reiterate that all decisions have been made bona fide, in the overall interest of the company, and that full disclosures have already been made thereon,' Infosys said in an emailed statement.

PTI February 08, 2017 16:55:54 IST
Infosys defends pay hike to Vishal Sikka, says decision in co's interest

New Delhi: IT major Infosys today defended pay hike to chief executive Vishal Sikka and the severance package of two former senior executives saying all decisions were made "in the overall interest of the company", amid reports of simmering differences between the CEO and its founders.

Shares of the company dived 1 percent on BSE today. The Bengaluru-based firm said it has made "full disclosures" on all developments.

Infosys defends pay hike to Vishal Sikka says decision in cos interest

Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka. Reuters

"With regard to concerns on governance... we would like to reiterate that all decisions have been made bona fide, in the overall interest of the company, and that full disclosures have already been made thereon," Infosys said in an emailed statement.

The reports said Infosys founders N R Narayana Murthy, Kris Gopalakrishnan and Nandan Nilekani had written to the board last month expressing their concerns over pay hike to chief executive Vishal Sikka, and the severance package offered to two senior executives.

Infosys founders, along with their family members, owned 12.75 percent in the company at the end of December 2016, as per the data available on the BSE.

"The Board receives suggestions and inputs from various stakeholders, including promoters, which are evaluated with due importance. The company will continue to be guided by the overall interests of all stakeholders," Infosys said in its response.

The concerns raised include severance package of Infosys' former CFO Rajiv Bansal and ex-general counsel David Kennedy For the period of April 1-October 12, 2015, Bansal is slated to receive Rs 23.02 crore compared to Rs 4.72 crore that he received for the entire FY'15, as remuneration.

In January, Kennedy quit Infosys and is due to receive severance payments of USD 868,250 (Rs 5.85 crore) and other reimbursements over 12 months.

Besides, last year, Infosys had raised the annual compensation of Sikka, whose term has also been extended till 2021, to USD 11 million.

This includes an annual base salary of USD 1 million, variable pay of USD 3 million (subject to company achieving certain targets) and the rest in stock compensation.

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Infosys backs Vishal Sikka, downplays governance concerns, rift between founders and board

The IT company said its founders and board could have differing views on issues such as Sikka's compensation, the appointment of certain independent directors and the severance paid to former employees but all decisions were taken with the approval of shareholders and the necessary disclosures.