‘Let Me Stop’: Narayana Murthy Calls Off Battle With Infosys Board
Infosys Ltd.’s co-founder and former chairman Narayana Murthy is calling off his fight with the board, saying the company will deal with the questions about corporate governance that have been raised.
Billionaire Murthy and several other founders had raised questions about the management of Asia’s second-largest IT services company, citing a spike in compensation for Chief Executive Officer Vishal Sikka as well as severance pay for two departing executives.
Criticism from Murthy and fellow billionaires Nandan Nilekani and Kris Gopalakrishnan had burgeoned into a public confrontation over Infosys, which works for many of the world’s biggest corporations, including Toshiba Corp. On Monday, Murthy called Chairman R Seshasayee a man of “highest integrity.”
“Let me stop. I have made a point, paying such large sums of money is confusing. Now they have to sort it out,” Murthy said in an interview. “I felt that I don’t want it to snowball. I don’t have the time. Neither should the board and the management be spending time on it.”
Tensions between the founders and the current board come as India’s entire software services sector faces the prospect of slowing growth and potentially damaging changes to U.S. immigration policy. Any move to restrict access to the visas needed to send workers to the U.S. would hurt their ability to service clients in the country. Sikka has pushed the company deeper into automation and artificial intelligence as it faces tighter client spending.
On Friday, an Infosys director said the company had appointed a law firm to handle all communications with Murthy and the other co-founders, stressing the need for transparency in dealings. But Murthy said it was time for him to call a truce so he doesn’t muddy the waters further.
“They will sort it out. It was just a question of bad judgment,” he said, referring to executive compensation. “They are not bad people. They will make sure these things do not happen again.”
Infosys has scheduled a media conference for Monday evening in Mumbai.