The assembly room shake-up at Infosys last week prompted a peace to the violence among the directors and the founders that cost the firm and its stakeholders very much.
While the departs of Jeff Lehman and R Seshasayee were on the cards coupled with that of Vishal Sikka, the exit of John Etchemendy was a tad bit of a shock. As was Ravi Venkatesan and Roopa Kudva staying on.
Kudva is Managing Director of Omidyar Network and Omidyar Network India Advisors. Omidyar Network is a US-based philanthropic investment company. It is the chief audit committee of Infosys and received the rage of the founders for not issuing red flags for the now-contentious acquirements made by Infosys. As co-chair, Ravi Venkatesan is appeared to have authorized the charge in opposition to Narayana Murthy, the founder, with the astounding letter the board rolled out, attacking him for resignation of Sikka. This was the situation in spite of 3 members of the board objecting it.
CEO of HfS Research, Phil Fersht, claimed, “This is a concession deal with Jeff, Sesh, Ravi, and John out. You have to praise the board with shifting quickly to get this forcefully back on path. The hard work begins now, but in any case they have a team of governance to guide the way. Next stop is to employ a stabilizing CEO to shift things further.”
Murthy has been scornful about the panel since the start of 2017, blaming a slip in standards of governance on problems ranging from employment of Punita Sinha as self-governing director and severance package of previous CFO Rajiv Bansal to the move to raise pay of Sikka in 2016 by 55% and suspicions regarding the real reason behind the Panaya contract.
CEO of Everest Group, Peter Bendor-Samuel, claimed, “It is motivating that not all associates are backing out and this almost certainly indicates that the panel is not lifting the white flag to Murthy who, I believe, they are very offended with. The return of Nilekani to Infosys indicates a promise from the panel to try and cure the partition between board, board members, and founders.”