Narayana Murthy hits back, says not chasing money or power

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on January 27, 2018 Published on August 18, 2017


Infosys co-founder and former Chairman NR Narayana Murthy on Friday said he was not seeking “any money, position for children, or power”, while expressing anguish over the board’s allegations that his “continuous assault” led to Vishal Sikka quitting as CEO.

Murthy is his controversial letter to advisers, which the Infosys board claimed led to Sikka resigning from his post, has said that well-meaning shareholders like him want the company to function and grow well.

“We just do not want the board to drive this institution to death through serious governance deficits in our own life time. The best way to ensure longevity of any corporation is by pursing good governance.”

He said the board should protect the institution rather than protecting some individuals like it is doing today. He said whatever progress Infosys has made is because of values and good governance. “Transparency was a competitive advantage of Infosys till 2014. We walked the talk.”

He also made it clear that he has never commented on Sikka’s work as is made out by the media. “I have not commented about his strategy or its execution since I have not seen him operate from the vantage point of an Infosys board member. I simply do not believe in commenting on anybody without data and facts. My problem is with governance at Infosys.”

Faults board

“I believe that the fault lies with the current board. If the board had not made inaction its strategy since September 2015, and had ensured proper governance, then the board could have created checks and balances required in any well-run company. That, alas, does not exist today. Somehow, public has been made to think by some vested interests that this is a fight between Vishal and us, the founders and the early adopters. That is simply not true.”

The Infosys board has lashed out at Narayana Murthy claiming that his strident attacks against the board has resulted in its CEO and MD quitting his post.

“Murthy's continuous assault, including this latest letter, is the primary reason that the CEO, Vishal Sikka, has resigned despite strong board support,” the board in a statement said. It said it has come to the attention of the board that a letter authored by Murthy has been released to various media houses attacking the integrity of the board and management of the company alleging falling corporate governance standards in the company. “The board takes great umbrage to the contents of the letter,” it said.

Published on August 18, 2017
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