Infosys names Ravi Venkatesan as co-Chairman

Venkatesh Ganesh Bengaluru | Updated on January 15, 2018

Ravi Venkatesan

Infosys has appointed Independent Director Ravi Venkatesan as co-Chairman in an attempt to patch up with the founders over corporate governance-related issues.

“Ravi will help me enhance the board engagement in supporting the management in execution of the company’s strategy,” R Seshasayee, Infosys’ Chairman, said in a statement.

Venkatesan, who has been on the Infosys board since April 2011, is currently serving as Chairman of Bank of Baroda, and was also the former Microsoft India Chairman. “This is an exciting time for the technology industry and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work more closely with Seshasayee, Sikka and his leadership team in their transformational journey,” Venkatesan said in a statement.

This development has happened at a time when there is an ongoing spat between the founders and the management over issues such as top management salary hike, severance package to former employees and corporate governance standards.

The issue came to head in February, when founder NR Narayana Murthy publicly pointed out that Infosys had failed on governance issues over the severance pay given to former Chief Financial Officer Rajiv Bansal.

“This is a message to Murthy that we are listening to your concerns,” said Kris Lakshmikanth, CEO, Headhunters India. He, however, added that this should be interpreted as going some distance but not the whole way. This can be gauged from the fact that Murthy had also said that Seshasayee “must accept their mistakes and show contrition” and sought appointment of Marti Subramanyam, a former director as co-chairman. “If Marti had been appointed along with the issue of salaries, it would have been construed as a complete patch up,” said Lakshmikanth.

Infosys had earlier appointed DN Prahlad, a former employee who was recommended by Murthy to the board.

Published on April 13, 2017

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