Narayana Murthy is set to address Infosys investors tomorrow, just few days after Vishal Sikka stepped down as the CEO of the company citing malicious allegations made by the founder as the primary reason. ET Now cited unidentified sources as saying that the veteran co-founder will speak to investors tomorrow evening. Within a few hours after the Infosys CEO and MD Vishal Sikka blamed co-founder and former CEO Narayana Murthy for his resignation, Narayana Murthy hit back, saying that he will reply to all the allegations when the time is right.
“Governance standard must be brought to a reasonable level if not the pinnacle, don’t want money, a position for our children and power. Just don’t want board to drive this institution to death via serious governance deficits,” Murthy said in his letter. He added, “I believe that the fault lies with the current board.”
Putting up grave allegations, Murthy said that Infosys board made inaction its strategy since 2015. “Board has to answer questions on whistleblower report, Seshasayee ignored my suggestion to get outsiders for whistleblower probe and to disclose entire report on co website,” he said in his letter.
The board had backed Vishal Sikka on it’s part. “Murthy’s continuous assault, including this latest letter, is the primary reason that the CEO, Vishal Sikka, has resigned despite strong Board support,” the board said in its statement to the BSE. Referring to Narayana Murthy’s letter attacking the company, the board sought to yet again dispel the allegations. “The Board takes great umbrage to the contents of the letter… Murthy’s letter contains factual inaccuracies, already-disproved rumours, and statements extracted out of context from his conversations with board members,” Infosys board said in the statement.
Meanwhile, V Balakrishnan, the former CFO of Infosys said that the board has let down the investors. In conversation with ET Now, Balakrishnan said, “The corporate governance has been very poor. We have had several instances from severance pay, Ex-CFO (Rajiv Bansal) and Panaya.I think the answers are not forthcoming.” He strongly believes that the investigation report which Murthy had earlier asked to be made public, must be disclosed publicly.
“All we heard was there was an investigation and a clean chit was given. Murthy asked for the report to be published as the shareholders have a right to know the details. When you spend Rs 10 crores to investigate, they have a right to know what the investigators have looked at and the conclusion of the investigation,” he said.
According to him, the board has failed in multiple fronts. He went on to add that the Chairman as well as the Co-Chairman must step down. The entire episode has taken a heavy toll on the share price of Infosys. The share closed at Rs 876 on NSE on Tuesday evening. Just three trading sessions ago, the shares closed at Rs 1,021.05 on Thursday evening. This amounts to a fall of more than 14% in just three trading sessions.