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“Let Me Stop”, Says Murthy On Tiff With Infosys; Sikka Returns The Favour

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“Let Me Stop”, Says Murthy On Tiff With Infosys; Sikka Returns The Favour

Narayana Murthy softens stance on friction with board. Says corporate governance issues raised will be addressed.

Narayana Murthy, founder of Infosys Limited, speaks during a dialogue session at the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong January 19, 2015. REUTERS/Bobby Yip 

 

Infosys co-founder and former chairman NR Narayana Murthy has called off his fight with the software company’s board, saying that corporate governance issues raised by him would be addressed.

 

Infosys’ founders, led by Murthy, had voiced concerns over current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Vishal Sikka’s enhanced compensation and severance package paid to two departing executives.

 

The severance pay of Rs. 17 crores paid to former Chief Financial Officer Rajiv Bansal, in particular, has become a bone of contention. In an interview with the Economic Times last week, Murthy said such a huge severance package raised concerns whether it was “hush money” to hide sensitive information about the company.

 

Also Read: Sikka Vs Infy Founders: Will Investors Ignore Murthy’s ‘Hush Money’ Claim?

 

But in a U-turn, Murthy told Bloomberg in an interview on Monday, “Let me stop. I have made a point, paying such large sums of money is confusing. Now they have to sort it out.”

 

Infosys, India’s second largest software company by revenue has tried to limit the damage from various media reports about friction between the company’s founders, who hold about 13 percent, and its current board.

 

The company issued a statement last Friday saying it had appointed law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas to formalise the process of receiving feedback from various stakeholders.

 

Infosys’ boardroom crisis comes at a time when the entire Indian IT sector’s survival is under threat from new technologies and potentially harsh restrictions to U.S. immigration policy.

 

“They will sort it out. It was just a question of bad judgment,” Narayana Murthy was reported to have told Bloomberg. “They are not bad people. They will make sure these things do not happen again,” Murthy said hoping to draw a line under what has become a very public battle.

 

CEO Vishal Sikka, in turn, has been measured in his response to the entire controversy. “I have a very heartfelt, warm relationship with Mr. Murthy. I probably meet him five (or) six times a year,” Sikka told analysts at a Kotak Institutional Securities’conference on Monday.

 

“All this drama that has been going on in the media, it’s very distracting. It takes away our attention but underneath that there is a very strong fabric that this company is based on.”

 

Sikka has been credited with in bringing sweeping changes to Infosys, pushing it deeper into automation and artificial intelligence as it grapples with tighter client spending.

 

Infosys has scheduled a press conference in Mumbai at 6 pm on Monday.

 

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Karen Rebelo works as an investigative reporter, fact-checker and a copy-editor at BOOM. Her specialization includes spotting and debunking fake images and viral fake videos. Karen is a former Reuters wires journalist and has covered the resources sector in the UK and the Indian stock market and private equity sector. She cut her teeth as a prime-time television producer doing business news shows.

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