Infoscions cheer NR Narayana Murthy’s take on state of play

Former Infosys employees have lauded Infosys cofounder NR Narayana Murthy’s call with investors on Tuesday evening describing it as “reassuring” and “comforting.”

The comments come a week after 80-plus former Infosys employees, commonly known as Infoscions, wrote a scathing mail questioning the board statement attacking Murthy and holding him responsible for former CEO Vishal Sikka’s resignation.

“What came out of Murthy’s call with investors was that Infosys remains at the heart of the founder’s interest and that’s a lifetime of investment, whatever issues that remained at the end of the day were solvable,” said Uday Disley, a former senior member of the investment team at Infosys. “I am more than optimistic about Infosys future, with Nandan (Nilekani) at the helm,” he added.

On Tuesday’s conference call organised by Investec, Murthy not only spoke about the corporate governance concerns he had with the previous board but also threw his weight behind the new chairman Nandan Nilekani. “I wish him (Nilekani) the best of everything in his effort to bring back Acche Din to Infosys,” said Murthy, in his first public pronouncement since Sikka’s resignation. “Murthy has raised his voice on right occasions, including when the previous board was in place,” said V Balakrishnan, former Director at Infosys board, who has been a vocal critic of former board chairman R Seshasayee.

“He has broken his silence for right reasons. When Nandan came back, people were worried as to whether he enjoyed support from all founders. Murthy made it clear that he has full faith in Nandan which has comforted investors,” he added. Others former employees felt Murthy’s address to investors had also outlined clearly what his concerns with the previous board were.

“During his call, Murthy provided a lot of clarity in terms of what he has been saying. And his primary concern has always been corporate governance, and has spoken out whenever he had to,” said Vishnu Bhat, former VP at Infosys. “He has provided more clarity in terms of what he questioned of the previous board. And, he has expressed himself very clearly,” Bhat said.

Sharad Hegde, former chief technology officer (CTO) and first non-founder employee at Infosys, said he always admired Murthy since the time he was appointed in 1981. “Like Nandan, Iwas also interviewed and appointed by Murthy. I have found whatever Murthy says to be right.” Hegde also rubbished the recent personal attacks made on Murthy.

According to Shriram Subramanian, MD at proxy advisory firm InGovern, Murthy’s call with investors suggested that stakeholders should be looking to the future, and that the board recast is a work-in-progress. “That Nandan will have Murthy’s trust means Murthy will be more supportive of the present board,” he said.

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