No comeback plans, have right to question as shareholders: Pai

No comeback plans, have right to question as shareholders: Pai

 Emphasising that the founders were not looking to make a comeback to Infosys' board, former CFO Mohandas Pai today said the group has the "right" to raise "legitimate concerns" as major shareholders of the company.

"Let me say, none of us want to come back on the Board. We have no vested interest, we are not waiting in the queue. We are doing well in our lives but as shareholders, we have a right to ask and we are asking. That's all," Pai told PTI.

His comments come amid founders raising concerns over corporate governance and "excessive" pay packages at Infosys, a charge that has been refuted by the Bengaluru-based firm.

Stating that he sided with co-founder N R Narayana Murthy's view that Infosys' board needs to be re-constituted, Pai said: "Infosys board has to be re-constituted so that their governance standards improve and maybe people who have served on the board earlier like Marti Subrahmanyam will come back for a few years".

Pai added that he supported the founders' stand that the board requires people with the same value system as that of Infosys.

Murthy, along with other co-founders Nandan Nilekani and S Gopalakrishnan are believed to have written to Infosys board asking why Sikka's compensation was raised and hefty severance packages offered to two top-level executives Rajiv Bansal (former CFO) and David Kennedy (General Counsel).

When contacted, Gopalakrishnan declined to comment on the matter.
Infosys founders, along with their family members, owned 12.75 per cent of the company at the end of December 2016, as per the data available on the BSE.

Pai said the founders had cut themselves off from the company's operations and are not questioning management's strategic decisions.

"They have never interfered but they are shareholders. Shareholders have the right to ask the board for governance. These are legitimate concerns. If you had 13 per cent in the company, won't you ask questions when you think things are going wrong?" he said.
"You can't ill-treat the largest group of shareholders like this," he added.

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