Infosys: Narayana Murthy stands firm on allegations, questions board on 'poor governance'
Murthy's comments came after Infosys board, under chairman Nandan Nilekani (considered to be a close confidant of the founder), on Tuesday gave a clean chit to the company's $200 million Panaya acquisition.
Bengaluru: Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy on Tuesday expressed disappointment that none of the questions raised by him on "poor governance" had been answered by the company's board with transparency.
Murthy's comments came after Infosys board, under chairman Nandan Nilekani (considered to be a close confidant of the founder), on Tuesday gave a clean chit to the company's $200 million Panaya acquisition. The board also refused to put out additional details of the probe, as had been demanded by Murthy.
Murthy, in a late evening statement, said that he stood by every question on poor governance raised in his speech to Infosys investors dated 29 August, 2017. He asserted that the core question still remained on "how and why the Infosys board approved an unusual and unprecedented severance payment agreement of 1000 percent (of
the standard Infosys employment contracts) to the former CFO...".
Murthy had launched an offensive against the the previous Infosys management over allegations of corporate governance lapses and had questioned the high severance pay out to former top executives of the company.
The stand-off has culminated into a sudden exit of Infosys' then CEO Vishal Sikka followed by erstwhile Chairman R Seshasayee. Murthy today also questioned why the board did not disclose information (about the severance pay) "proactively and much earlier". "Sadly, it appears we will no longer know the truth," Murthy said in his statement.
Announcing its second quarter earnings today, Infosys had said that it concurs with the previous findings of an external probe that there is no merit in the allegations of wrongdoing with regard to the Panaya deal.
"After careful consideration led by our Chairman, the board reaffirms the previous findings of external investigations that there is no merit to the allegations of wrongdoing," Infosys had said.
Reacting on the outcome of board meeting, Seshasayee said, "The company now deserves a period of stability and undistracted focus on the business. I wish the company all the best".
It may be recalled that Murthy had demanded that the full report by Gibson Dunn and Crutcher on whistleblower allegations pertaining to the $200 million Panaya
acquisition be made public. But, Infosys said that after a "careful re-consideration" it has concluded that putting out more details of the probe would "inhibit the company's ability to conduct effective investigations into any matter in the future".
Further, the company emphasised that its review had confirmed that "appropriate" and "timely disclosures" were indeed made on severance payments to the former CFO.