Infosys board member and Biocon Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw asserted that there has been no breach in corporate governance at the IT bellwether, but said there may be some “judgement calls” on which the board differed with the promoters.
Reacting to Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy’s explosive comments on dropping governance standards at the company, she said in future, the board would try to allay such concerns of the promoters.
“As a board member, I would certainly say that there has been no breach in governance issues. Yes there may be judgement calls on which we differ with the promoters, but I think overtime we will try and see how we can allay these concerns that the promoters have in terms of the way the board conducts itself,” she told a section of media here.
Mazumdar-Shaw denied there was any breakdown in governance of the company, but conceded there have been concerns and issues expressed by Narayana Murthy and promoters.
“Personally, I don’t believe that there are governance breakdowns. Yes, there have been concerns and issues expressed by Mr Murthy and promoters. I think these are more to do with perception issues rather than real breakdown of governance,” she said.
Murthy, in an interview with a business daily, had said that since June 1, 2015, the founders have seen a concerning drop in governance standards at Infosys.
“We won several awards for good governance all over the world. However, since June 1, 2015, we have seen a concerning drop in governance standards at Infosys,” he had said.
Mazumdar-Shaw said there may be “perception challenges”, but no governance issues at the company.
“It is unfortunate that it has been made into governance issue, which is not. I think it is really about perception challenges that have actually created this kind of unpleasant kind of situation,” she said.
“I believe that what the board is doing is, it is creating a very formal channel of communication with the promoters.
Hopefully will start seeing these kind of issues subsiding,” she said.
Replying to a question, she said the board has always backed Sikka.
“The board has always backed Vishal Sikka. We remain very firmly grounded on this particular aspect. This is not the time for us to get into these kind of issues. This is the time when we should move forward,” she said.
Instead, it is the time to move forward and support Sikka and the management to focus on growth and transformation of the company because of the challenging times in IT sector globally, Mazumdar-Shaw said.
“We should support Vishal Sikka and the management team to really focus on growth and transformation because these are very challenging times globally for the IT sector and we must actually try and see how Infosys can continue to lead the way,” she said.
On hefty severance package given to ex-CFO Rajiv Bansal, she said it was arrived at under very complex circumstances and it is for the management to make these judgement calls.
“You know, severance packages are basically drawn up by the management, and these particular severance packages that you are referring to, have been arrived at under very complex circumstances. I think we have to leave it to the management team to make these judgement calls,” she said.
“They have justified why they have given these kind of severance packages. I think the board has accepted these justification,” she added.