Ramaswamu Seshasayee, chairman of Infosys Ltd., listens during a Bloomberg 20 India event in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Infosys Board Not Divided, Says Seshasayee

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The Question Of Sikka's Severance Pay

Vishal Sikka will not receive any severance pay upon his exit from the company’s helm, since he resigned on his own. Some people read into the contract more than the contract ever said, Seshasayee said, adding that Sikka is "not a guy motivated by phenomenal sums of money".

Sikka will now receive $1 for his role as Infosys' executive vice chairman.

Watch Infosys Presser Live

Me stepping down or Ravi (Venkatesan) stepping down won’t solve the problem. We will continue to do our job.
R Seshasayee, Chairman, Infosys

No Wrongdoing

Responding to Murthy's latest set of allegations, Seshasayee said that the board and the investigating authorities found no wrongdoing within the company after all three investigations were completed.

No Division Of Power

Ravi Venkatesan’s role as the co-chairman of the Infosys board should not be viewed as a division of power, said Chairman R Seshasayee.

Venkatesan was appointed as the co-chair in April this year after ongoing criticism from Narayana Murthy and other company founders regarding lapses in governance.

Also Read: Sikka’s Infosys Exit Is Ctrl-Alt. Now Hit Del.

Succession Planning

The vacant seat in India’s second largest IT company and succession planning is high on the mind of the company’s board members. The events that have taken place in the last 48 hours have made if difficult for the board to consider Murthy for a formal role in planning this succession, he said.

As for what the board is looking for in the next CEO, he said:

  • The next CEO must buy into the vision and strategy of the board
  • The new CEO must have extraordinary people skills

Vishal Sikka was excellent at connecting with employees which led to a strong culture within the company, he said.

Also Read: Sikka’s Exit A Negative For Infosys, Say Brokerages

Ravi Venkatesan On Cracks Within The Board

The Infosys board has been in talks with promoters since the last once year regarding the company’s governance and management reshuffling.

“We were making reasonable progress on talks untill recently,” Venkatesan said.

Refering to the remark made by some independent directors that Sikka is “not CEO material”, venkatesan said that the sentences were taken out of context.

“Vishal is an excellent technical guy, there is no doubt about that. He has blossomed into a high performing CEO too,” Venkatesan said. he himself, has no intentions or ambitions of being the company’s CEO, Venkatesan clarified.

Also Read: Infosys Board ‘Profoundly Distressed By Unfounded Personal Attacks’ On Sikka

Position Change Will Make No Difference

Sikka’s move to executive vice chairman from chief executive officer will make no difference to his commitment to the company, said Chairman Ramaswami Seshasayee at the press conference.

Business As Usual

Moving away from the ongoing controvery, Sikka said that business will go on as usual with the company focusing on strategy and key client relationships. The company will continue to focus on operational performance and is excited about the buyback announced on August 9.

Also Read: Infosys To Consider Share Buyback Proposal On August 19

Sikka Says

Continous allegations around former Chief Financial Officer Rajiv Bansal and Israeli automation technology firm Panaya Ltd. took a toll on the organisation.

It is a sad day but a day that will help in clarifying things.  
Vishal Sikka, Executive Vice Chairman, Infosys

This will help the company begin afresh, he said.

Also Read: In Charts: Infosys Under Vishal Sikka

Board members of the IT giant are currently addressing the media through a press conference in Bengaluru. Executive Vice Chairman Vishal Sikka and interim CEO & MD Pravin Rao have joined in through a video call.

The board has accepted Vishal Sikka’s resignation with great sadness, Ravi Venkatesan reiterated. Pravin rao will now report to Sikka is the interim leader.

Baseless Allegations

The Infosys board has no intentions of inviting co-founder Narayana Murthy to take up a formal role, said co-chairman Ravi Venkatesan. He defended the institution saying that allegations made by founders were completely baseless.

Also Read: Infosys Board ‘Profoundly Distressed By Unfounded Personal Attacks’ On Sikka

Sikka has the full confidence and support of the Infosys board, Venkatesan added. Going forward, the company intends to do much more in seeking investor feedback.

Also Read: ‘Sad’, ‘Disillusioned’: Here’s How Twitterati Reacted To Sikka’s Resignation

Company Comes First

While the attacks became “increasingly malicious and personal”, in the end the company is bigger and will live longer than all of us, Sikka said.

“The institution comes first.”

Speaking about the board, Sikka said that everyone asked him to reconsider his decisions. He further denounced some stories doing the round in media, calling them “completely nonsensical”.

Moving Forward

Looking ahead of the day’s events, Infosys will focus on performing in the second quarter and the rest of the year, said interim CEO &MD Pravin Rao, in an attempt to reassure investors.

Also Read: It Takes Two To Tango, Says Mohandas Pai On Sikka’s Resignation

Sikka said he will continue to collaborate with the company and board as Executive Vice Chairman till the transition is completed in a smooth manner.

He is really proud of what the team delivered despite distractions, he added.

  • Improved revenue per employee for six straight quarters.
  • Resolute execution will continue in Q2 as well.
  • Focussed on cash generation, buyback.

Also Read: Vishal Sikka Blogs On His Resignation

Sikka On What Went Wrong

The constant drumbeat of allegations was sickening, Sikka said, pointing towards the continuous criticism received from Narayana Murthy and other company founders.

“There comes a point of time when you say it’s too much!,” he said.

The outgoing CEO realised he was spending “way too much time in dealing with nonsense” which made it difficult for him to carry out the changes that he has envisioned along with the board.

Also Read: Infosys Board Blames Founder Murthy’s “Continuous Assault” For Vishal Sikka’s Departure

Infosys has launched 25 new services that now represent 25 percent of revenue, Sikka said.

Infosys Under Sikka's Reign

Infosys lead the industry in terms of growth in FY17, excluding inorganic growth, said outgoing CEO Vishal Sikka during the conference call.

  • Q1 was the first quarter where we beat TCS in terms of margins.
  • Attrition has come down, utilisation rate is at a 10-year high.

Also Read: Vishal Sikka’s Resignation Letter To Infosys Board

Hunt For New CEO & MD

Infosys needs to find a new managing director and chief executive officer, not later than March 31, 2018, said Ravi Venkatesan, co-chairman of the infosys board. The entrusted nomination and remuneration committee will start work on finding a successor, he said during the investor conference call.

UB Pravin Rao, chief operating officer of the company, will step in as interim CEO and managing director, according to the company’s first filing in the exchanges.

Also Read: Sikka Will Get An Annual Salary Of $1 During His Tenure As Infosys Executive Vice Chairman

Infosys Ltd. board said it accepted Vishal Sikka's resignation as managing director and chief executive officer with "great regret and sadness".

Current chief operating officer Pravin Rao becomes interim CEO, while Sikka will stay on as executive vice chairman till Infosys finds a permanent replacement, the company announced in a stock exchange filing.

Here are the highlights of the Infosys managment's concall with analysts.

Also Read
Vishal Sikka Resigns As Infosys Managing Director And CEO
Infosys Shares Decline Most In 9 Months After CEO Vishal Sikka Quits

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