Home World Business Murthy scores over Seshasayee in Infosys making Ravi Venkatesan co-chairman

Murthy scores over Seshasayee in Infosys making Ravi Venkatesan co-chairman

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Venkatesan has been among the key negotiators with Murthy after he raised concerns over governance

Raghu Krishnan  |  Bengaluru  April 14, 2017 Last Updated at 01:47 IST

We must benchmark ourselves against the best in the world: N R Narayana Murthy
founder N  R Narayana Murthy scored over company Chairman in securing the appointment of independent board member as co-chairman of the software major.


Venkatesan had been a key negotiator with Murthy after the latter raised concerns over governance issues at and sought that Seshasayee be held accountable. While not seeking Seshasayee’s resignation, Murthy had asked for another eminent person as co-chairman.


“Ravi will help me enhance the board engagement in supporting the management in execution of company strategy,” said Seshasayee.


 He, however, clarified that Murthy had not recommended the name of Venkatesan as co-chairman. Murthy did not respond immediately to an email seeking comments.


“The role of a peacemaker arises only if there is a war. I have consistently said there is no war. We have consistently said that we are responsible and act as an independent board. Unfortunately, Ravi will not play the role of a  peacemaker,” Seshasayee told a television channel.


In February, Murthy had publicly gone against Seshasayee and the board of directors, saying the company had failed on governance issues over the severance pay to former chief financial officer Rajiv Bansal. Seshasayee and the board “must accept their mistakes and show contrition”, he had said, and sought the appointment of Marti Subramanyam, a former director, as co-chairman. 


had earlier appointed  D N Prahlad, a former employee recommended by Murthy, to the board.


Venkatesan, currently chairman of Bank of Baroda, was chairman of Microsoft in India and before that led Cummins India for over 16 years. He is also a board member at the Rockfeller Foundation and has authored a book, Conquering the Chaos — Win in India, Win Everywhere.


“This is an exciting time for the information technology industry and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work more closely with Sesh and with Vishal and his leadership team in their transformational journey,” said Venkatesan.


V Balakrishnan, a former board member who is close to Murthy,  has called the elevation of Venkatesan as a cosmetic change that doesn’t address concerns raised by the founder.


“They made a cosmetic change by elevating one of the board members as co-chairman without explaining to the investors what does it mean and how the change is made and how will it address the investors’ issues. I think the governance issues still remain,” said Balakrishnan.


“It will only make top-heavy with roles (of) chairman, co-chairman, COO, deputy COO. The company has not articulated what this change means,” he said.


Murthy has continued to maintain that has diluted governance standards. He raised the point again last month, protesting against the extent of a salary hike to Pravin Rao, chief operating officer.

Murthy scores over Seshasayee in Infosys making Ravi Venkatesan co-chairman

Venkatesan has been among the key negotiators with Murthy after he raised concerns over governance

Venkatesan has been among the key negotiators with Murthy after he raised concerns over governance

founder N  R Narayana Murthy scored over company Chairman in securing the appointment of independent board member as co-chairman of the software major.


Venkatesan had been a key negotiator with Murthy after the latter raised concerns over governance issues at and sought that Seshasayee be held accountable. While not seeking Seshasayee’s resignation, Murthy had asked for another eminent person as co-chairman.


“Ravi will help me enhance the board engagement in supporting the management in execution of company strategy,” said Seshasayee.


 He, however, clarified that Murthy had not recommended the name of Venkatesan as co-chairman. Murthy did not respond immediately to an email seeking comments.


“The role of a peacemaker arises only if there is a war. I have consistently said there is no war. We have consistently said that we are responsible and act as an independent board. Unfortunately, Ravi will not play the role of a  peacemaker,” Seshasayee told a television channel.


In February, Murthy had publicly gone against Seshasayee and the board of directors, saying the company had failed on governance issues over the severance pay to former chief financial officer Rajiv Bansal. Seshasayee and the board “must accept their mistakes and show contrition”, he had said, and sought the appointment of Marti Subramanyam, a former director, as co-chairman. 


had earlier appointed  D N Prahlad, a former employee recommended by Murthy, to the board.


Venkatesan, currently chairman of Bank of Baroda, was chairman of Microsoft in India and before that led Cummins India for over 16 years. He is also a board member at the Rockfeller Foundation and has authored a book, Conquering the Chaos — Win in India, Win Everywhere.


“This is an exciting time for the information technology industry and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work more closely with Sesh and with Vishal and his leadership team in their transformational journey,” said Venkatesan.


V Balakrishnan, a former board member who is close to Murthy,  has called the elevation of Venkatesan as a cosmetic change that doesn’t address concerns raised by the founder.


“They made a cosmetic change by elevating one of the board members as co-chairman without explaining to the investors what does it mean and how the change is made and how will it address the investors’ issues. I think the governance issues still remain,” said Balakrishnan.


“It will only make top-heavy with roles (of) chairman, co-chairman, COO, deputy COO. The company has not articulated what this change means,” he said.


Murthy has continued to maintain that has diluted governance standards. He raised the point again last month, protesting against the extent of a salary hike to Pravin Rao, chief operating officer.


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Raghu Krishnan

Business Standard

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