I have not withdrawn governance concerns: Narayana Murthy

I have not withdrawn governance concerns: Narayana Murthy

 Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy on Monday made it clear that he hasn’t withdrawn his concerns about governance lapses in the company.

In a reply to DH, Murthy said, “No, I have not withdrawn my concern. They have to be addressed properly by the Board and full transparency should be displayed and people responsible for it should become accountable.”

His comments come after reports that he had backed down from his earlier stand on the corporate governance issues raised against the Board. The spat between the promoters and the Board members attracted attention globally, as India’s IT bellwether company is going through another transitional phase in its history. Murthy said that the Board members are good intentioned people of high integrity. “But obviously, being human, even good people sometimes make mistakes.

“But good leadership demands that they listen to all shareholders concerned, re-evaluate their decisions, and take corrective action. I hope they take corrective action soon and improve governance for a better future for the company,” he said. The Infosys co-founder is unhappy with the Board’s decision to give CEO Vishal Sikka's $11 million pay and expensive severance packages for former executives Rajiv Bansal (CFO) and David Kennedy (General Counsel).

‘Time needed for buyback’

Infosys has set aside its huge cash reserve for the mergers and acquisitions, and the company would need time to decide on that. Speaking to DH, Independent Director at Infosys, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said, “If we don’t find the kind of merger and acquisition opportunities that we are looking at, obviously we would look at the buyback of the shares. But please give us time, because not every company wants to do a share buyback.”

Last week, the company called the report of a Rs 12,000 crore share buyback plan to be speculative. Infosys cash and cash equivalents amounted to Rs 26,113 crore, and total assets worth Rs 80,640 crore as on December 31, 2016.

“We understand that every shareholder must be provided with the return and if you have a lot of cash sitting in your books you should make a good use of it. And that’s what we are trying. This board and management is a very recent one. We must give an opportunity to the management and board to look at mergers and acquisitions,” Kiran said.

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