Infosys: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw defends Vishal Sikka, board decisions

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Biocon chairperson and an independent director on Infosys board, has said that the board of the company is a very harmonised one and the decision on CEO Vishal Sikka's salary was taken after deliberations.

"The board is a very harmonised board. There have been certain questions asked about remuneration to Vishal Sikka. But these have been deliberated upon. I think the board has acted very well in this regard. Whatever issues the founders have raised are not governance issues but differences of opinion," Shaw said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

The non-executive founders of the country's second largest software company have written to the board of the company raising issues on some of the recently taken decisions on corporate governance . The letter was written by NR Narayana Murthy, Kris Gopalakrishnan and Nandan Nilekani.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw. Reuters

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw. Reuters

Among the issues that were raised include the sharp increase in Sikka's salary for the current year, high severance package given to some of the former executives and also the induction on board of Punit Sinha, wife of Union minister Jayant Sinha.

Sikka's salary for the current year has been set at $11 million, higher than $7.08 million in 2016 including stock options.

Shaw's comments come after Infosys in a statement defended the board's decisions. "The board is fully aligned with the strategic direction of Dr. Vishal Sikka and is very appreciative of the initiatives taken by him in pursuance of this transformation," R. Seshasayee, Infosys board chairman, said in a statement.

"Vishal and the board, while being pleased with the company's resumption of industry leading performance on many parameters, are keen to further accelerate the progress and achieve even more shareholder value increase, on the foundation of sound governance," the statement said.

According to media reports, the founders have also raised concerns about Sikka's growth strategy for the company. He has set a $20 billion revenue target for Infosys by 2020, about double its present figure. Observers are of the opinion that for such a huge increase the company will also need an aggressive acquisition strategy.

Shaw, in the interview to CNBC-TV18, also defended Sikka saying she did not think he had an aggressive acquisition strategy and promoters want him to deliver on his ‘lofty goals’.

She also admitted that there may be concerns about the leadership of the Infosys board.

Updated Date: Feb 10, 2017 10:59 AM

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