Bengaluru: Infosys chairman R.Seshasayee on Saturday said it will be his last AGM before he retires next year in May and plans a smooth transition to his successor.
“Finally, as this will be my last AGM, before I retire upon reaching the age of 70 in May 2018… During the remaining part of my tenure, I would be committed to further enhancing governance standards, improving shareholder value and planning a smooth transition to my successor,” he said in his speech at the 36th AGM of Infosys here in Bengaluru today.
Seshasayee said the management and the board commit to its shareholders further acceleration of efforts to navigate the company through “the daunting changes and deliver performance worthy of its proud heritage”.
He also thanked founders, his colleagues on the board and shareholders for giving him an opportunity to serve the company at “an extremely critical” point during its transformation journey.
“I have had unstinted support from my colleagues on the board and the management, and I am truly grateful to them for imposing confidence in my leadership in these challenging times,” he added.
Seshasayee spoke of the company undertaking three transformations, including the cultural one to secure a sustainable and secure future.
“I have earlier said we are undertaking three transformations simultaneously in the company to secure a sustainable and secure future; one, business transformation from a traditional transformation company to an innovation led, software plus services company, which is formidable enough,” he said.
“Second, the cultural transformation that comes along when you induct global leadership talent and third, the rather abrupt transition from the promoter-led board and management to an independent board. None of these is easy. Other players in the industry might have one or the other, but not all three,” the chairman stressed.
Playing down reports of rift with founders, Seshasayee said the company takes promoters’ suggestions “seriously” and will continue to engage with co-founders, including N.R. Narayana Murthy. The board has continuously engaged with all major investors, in particular with the founders, and will continue to do so, Sesashayee said at the AGM.
Over the past few months, the Bengaluru-based tech giant has receive flak from some of the founders and former employees over alleged governance lapses and high compensation doled out to key executives. They have also exhorted the management to return surplus cash on the company’s books to shareholders through buyback or liberal dividends.
“We in the board earnestly believe it is our duty to listen to every shareholder, introspect and further improve our performance or take corrective actions,” he said. Seshasayee said the board considers founders’ comments seriously and respectfully.