Seshasayee says not stepping down, defends CEO Sikka

Seshasayee says not stepping down, defends CEO Sikka

Infosys Chairman R Seshasayee on Monday stood his ground in the face of the biggest crisis at the country's second-largest IT firm, saying he had a job to do and he would do it.

Addressing the media here, Seshasayee strongly defended actions questioned by the founders of the company, including patriarch N R Narayana Murthy.

More than a week after the founders flagged what they said were corporate governance issues, he said, “Shareholders and the board have asked me to do a job. As long as they don't ask me... I will do my job.”

Asked if he would step down, as suggested by Narayana Murthy, he asserted he would continue in his position.

Seshasayee defended CEO Vishal Sikka's contentious pay package, saying it was tied to achievement of high targets.

On Murthy's suggestion that the company could have paid excessive severance to former CFO Rajiv Bansal and general counsel David Kennedy to keep them from revealing Infosys secrets, he said the suspicion was “deeply disturbing.”

He claimed there was no conflict and the battle between the founders and the board was a media creation.

“There is convergence. I don't think there is any battle,” he said. “Governance is a collective responsibility of the board. There could be issues of perception.”

He also backed independent directors D N Prahlad and Punita Kumar Sinha, saying their appointments were made on merit.

On the appointment of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, he said the law firm had not been brought in to mediate but to provide a road map on governance.

Chief operating officer Pravin Rao, independent directors Roopa Kudva and Punita Kumar Sinha were also present at the media conference.

Independent directors Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Jeffrey S Lehman were part of the conference via video calling.

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