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With Nilekani's return, Infy goes back to its roots

25 August 2017, 01:49 | Yvette Williams

Nandan Nilekani has assumed a new role at Infosys to steer the company away from troubled waters

Nandan Nilekani has assumed a new role at Infosys to steer the company away from troubled waters

The Infosys board had said in a release it had no intention of asking Murthy to play a formal role in the governance of the organisation.

Two independent directors - Jeffery S Lehman and John Etchemendy - also resigned from the Infosys board with immediate effect.

Last Friday, Sikka, the first non-founder CEO of Infosys, resigned from the company following months of acrimony with high-profile founders, led by Murthy, citing "malicious" and "personal attacks" on him.

"Many investors are asking for Nilekani to come back". UB Pravin Rao was appointed as the Interim Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director reporting to Sikka, under the overall supervision and control of the company's Board.

While Sikka did not name Murthy for his exit, the Board of the $10 billion firm blamed the founder for "continuous assault" through "factually inaccurate" and "already-disproved rumours" for the resignation of the CEO.

Shares in Infosys rose for a third straight day on Thursday, following reports that former Chief Executive Nandan Nilekani could return to the board to help the software services exporter ride out its latest controversy.

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Nilekani was one of the seven founders that set up Infosys more than three decades ago and served as its CEO between March 2002 to April 2007.

Nilekani returns to the Bengaluru-headquartered company at a time when Indian outsourcers have been dented by cautious client spends in their biggest market, the United States, and as they brace for changes to a US work visa programme they have heavily relied on in the past to fly engineers into the country.

Some of the domestic institutional investors who had written letter to company's board seeking Nilekani's return told DH that Nilekani was suitable candidate to take the company out of mess, as he combines technological foresight with faith of the company's co-founders. The company has also accepted the resignation of R Seshasayee who will now be replaced by Nandan Nilekani.

'Nandan is the ideal leader for Infosys at this stage in the company's development. All equity awards outstanding as on separation date to the extent such awards are unvested will terminate on the date of separation.

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.

The letter also stated that the investors feel Nilekani enjoys trust and support of the majority of the stakeholders in Infosys and his elevation to hold the top responsibility will not be opposed by anyone concerned.



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