Infosys former CFO V Balakrishnan on Monday said he was disappointed that the company did not offer “concrete answers” on matters like CEO compensation and severance pay to former executives, and insisted that the board need to take the “first step” to address the concerns raised.
Infosys Chairman R Seshasayee, along with CEO Vishal Sikka and other board members, on Monday presented a united front to defend some of the company’s decisions that have come under founders’ scrutiny.
Speaking to PTI, Balakrishnan said the clarifications offered by Infosys were “very disappointing”.
“I don’t think the issues have been addressed adequately. They said they are engaging with the founders. They are engaging for so long, still they are not able to convince. I don’t know what is the use of that engagement,” he quipped.
On Seshasayee’s comment that he had been appointed to do a job and will continue to do so, Balakrishnan said it was not the right statement to make because the board and the Chairman have a fiduciary responsibility.
“They have to run the company in the best interest of the stakeholders. So, when governance issues are raised and are not adequately addressed or accountability (is) fixed, every shareholder will question that, and they are answerable. They can’t say I have been selected and nothing can happen to me,” he said.
Asked about the next course of action, he said the board has to take the “first step”.
“I think the board has to take the first step because we raised the issue. They have not given any concrete answers. So, the board has to take the first step. Engage with founders, not through lawyers but directly,” Balakrishnan said.
He added that the board needs to address all the concerns, and “if required, re-constitute the board and move on”.
More than a week after co-founders including N R Narayana Murthy flagged what they said were corporate governance issues, Seshasayee and other board members today addressed an hour-long media conference to clear the air.
Responding to co-founders’ concerns, the chairman said, “Here we have some stakeholders, founders and others along with them, who have nothing other than the best interest of the organisation on their mind and obviously, there will be a lot of passion.”
“It is our obligation to listen to these voices, assimilate these messages, be sensitive to these comments and calibrate our actions,” he added.