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Infosys founders to decide on Nandan Nilekani’s return: T.V. Mohandas Pai

LiveMint logoLiveMint 24-08-2017 PTI

Hyderabad: Infosys founders would collectively take a decision on the return of co-founder Nandan Nilekani to the software services firm, said T.V. Mohandas Pai, former chief financial officer at Infosys Ltd, said on Thursday.

Major investors in Infosys are in discussion with co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy on ways to manage the company in the future, Pai added. “The major investors are talking to Murthy to come to a conclusion on how the company has to be managed in the future.”

The former CFO said he expects Infosys chairman R. Seshasayee and co-chairman Ravi Venkatesan to step down in the next few days and a new chairman and board to be appointed.

“Many investors are asking for Nilekani to come back...great demand for him to come back; the founders have to meet and decide; right now Murthy is not well,” Pai said, adding all Infosys founders are “together” on the matter.

When asked why other founders are not speaking on the developments at Infosys, Pai said: “They don’t want to increase the public spectacle; no need for everybody to speak. Murthy is their spokesperson. Everybody is together.”

“Nilekani coming back (to Infosys) is good, he knows every body, he is approachable,” Pai said.

He said because of the “abuse” of Murthy by the Infosys board, all the employees are “angry and upset”. “They (Infosys employees) have gone and met the co-chairman and told him that it is not acceptable to abuse Murthy like that. Employees have been very strong in supporting Murthy and have been saying this abuse of Murthy by the Board should stop,” Pai said. “It’s a sad thing that a great company is being torn apart by an ineffective board.”

Pai said more and more people—whether they are employees, or investors or others—are coming to the conclusion that this board has to go and a new one has to come. “Nandan coming back as chairman will be a good thing for the company and settle the issue once and for all,” he added.

Thursday’s developments come exactly a week after Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka’s resignation, a move that has plunged India’s second largest IT services firm into crisis. Infosys has said that it will find a CEO replacement latest by 31 March 2018.

On 18 August, the day Sikka announced his resignation, investor advisory firm Institutional Investor Advisory Services (IiAS) said it favoured Nilekani being brought back on the board as its non-executive chairman. Nilekani, who was CEO of the company between 2002 and 2007, has so far refused to comment on the crisis Infosys is facing.

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