Investors of global software major Infosys on Saturday cheered the return of co-founder Nandan M Nilekani as Chairman to steer their firm onward after a turbulent year over governance issues. “Nilekani’s return has restored our confidence in the company, which progressed the most when he and other co-founder (N.R. Narayana Murthy) were at the helm,” said a shareholder at the company’s 37th Annual General Meeting (AGM). Nilekani, 63, re-joined the $10.9 billion IT major in August 2017 eight years after he resigned as CEO to become head of the state-run UIDAI, which issues the unique identification card Aadhaar.
Nilekani replaced R. Seshasayee who, resigned along with the first non-founder Chief Executive Vishal Sikka and two other board members due to a spat between them and the promoters over corporate governance issues since a year.
“It is very good to have Nilekani back after a year of crisis in the company due to serious differences between the promoters and the former Board over the acquisition of a US-based software firm (Panaya) and severance package to its former chief financial officer (Rajiv Bansal),” said another shareholder.
Sadananda Shastry, another investor, however, wanted to know why Nilekani was not taking compensation as Chairman. To this, Nilekani said: “I have already benefitted enough from the company. I will work as hard and as long as necessary even without compensation.” When a investor pleaded to bring Murthy also back to the company at the helm, Nilekani said the board would look into his request. “The Board will look at having Murthy back in the company at the Board level,” said Nilekani.