Narayan Murthy vs Infosys: Nandan Nilekani to breathe easier as NRN says all is well

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Bengaluru | Published: November 16, 2017 5:16:17 AM

Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy on Wednesday said all is well in the company and its chairman Nandan Nilekani has the skills of simplifying “lots” of complexities in the software major.

Infosys, Narayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani, Narayan Murthy vs Infosys, Nandan Nilekani to breathe easier, all is well in InfosysInfosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy. (Image: Reuters)

Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy on Wednesday said all is well in the company and its chairman Nandan Nilekani has the skills of simplifying “lots” of complexities in the software major. On October 24, Murthy had expressed disappointment that none of the questions raised by him on “poor governance” in Infosys had been transparently answered by the company’s board. Murthy’s pithy one-liner comes on the back of the company’s board decision, led by Nilekani, not to make the investigation report public on acquisition of Israeli technology firm Panaya as sought by him earlier. Speaking to media on the sidelines of an event organised by the Infosys Science Foundation, Murthy indicated that there would not be any further public comments on various corporate governance issues raised by him when the board was led by chairman R Seshasayee. “With Nandan assuming the office of the chairman at Infosys, we can all sleep well,” Murthy said. Nandan Nilekani returned to Infosys as non-executive chairman in August following the exit of Seshasayee and CEO Vishal Sikka. Seshasayee and Sikka had resigned from the company following a series of corporate governance issues raised by Murthy. Apart from this, Murthy also questioned the high severance package given to former CFO Rajiv Bansal and alleged irregularities in the acquisition of Panaya for $200 million.

Before Nilekani took charge as the new chairman, Murthy had asked Infosys to publicise the detailed report of a third-party investigation on the alleged acquisition of Panaya following a whistleblower complaint to the Sebi. The report did not find any evidence of wrongdoing. However, in October, Nilekani had given a clean chit to the former board on matters relating to the acquisition of Panaya, but decided not to make it public. “I believe that all stakeholders acted out of a strong passion for Infosys, wanting what they believed to be the best for the company and to see it succeed. In light of my review of these matters, I am fully persuaded, as is the entire board, that the conclusions of the independent investigations are correct,” Nilekani had said.

Reacting to this, Murthy had raised his concern and said, “We will no longer know the truth.” Further detailing the capabilities of the new chairman, Murthy said, “Nandan is an organised person and his strength is simplification of complex ideas. There were lots of complexities, and therefore, he has his hands full. Now let’s leave it to him. Also, let’s all keep quiet so that he does his job well.” Speaking about Murthy’s contribution to the company, Nilekani said, “Mr Murthy was the custodian and steward of this company for the last 40 years. We all look up to him very greatly and we will always seek his advice and counsel so that Infosys stands up to the highest standards.”

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