BENGALURU : Infosys Ltd has never been successful with a non-founder at the helm. Not yet. Vishal Sikka, Infosys’ first non-founder chief executive resigned from the company in August 2017 after prolonged and public differences with co-founder NR Narayana Murthy over corporate governance issues. It was rather evident that Sikka was left with no choice but to resign. This despite the fact that Sikka was cherry-picked by Murthy himself and appointed as CEO in June 2014, cutting short the tenure of its last serving co-founder SD Shibulal. Sikka’s differences with the founders escalated after whistleblower complaints on allegations ranging from the $200 million acquisition of Israeli automation company Panaya in February 2015 being overvalued to top executives having personal interests in the acquisition. High severance packages of former CFO Rajiv Bansal and former chief legal officer David Kennedy and a 55% hike in Sikka’s compensation heightened the conflict. Now, it seems to be Infosys’ current CEO Salil Parekh’s turn. As part of the investigation into the whistle-blower’s allegations, Infosys is likely to ask Parekh and CFO Nilanjan Roy to leave, according to an analyst. The company’s former CFO MD Ranganath and deputy CFO Jayesh Sanghrajka could also be approached to assist in the probe. After 18 years in the company, Ranganath quit Infosys in August 2018 while Sanghrajka resigned last week in a manner that looks rather abrupt. “While it’s too early to comment, it’s likely that Salil (Prakeh) and Nilanjan Roy may be asked to leave because Infosys has to maintain its image of being one of the top companies in the world for corporate governance," a Bengaluru-based IT analyst said on condition of anonymity. On Tuesday, Nandan Nilekani, chairman of Infosys, said in a statement to the BSE that the committee has begun consultation with independent internal auditors EY, and has retained law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co to conduct an independent investigation. The following day, markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the BSE sought clarification from Infosys for not disclosing information regarding the whistleblower complaint. In response to BSE’s clarification, Infosys said the complaints have been presented to the audit committee of the board and “thoroughly reviewed and appropriately dealt with". While dealing with these complaints, “the company evaluates the requirements of various regulations including disclosures under Regulation 30 of SEBI (LODR) Regulations, 2015, as amended (LODR Regulations)". It further said “before conclusion of the investigation of the generalised allegations in the complaints, a disclosure under Regulation 30 of LODR Regulations was not required. The disclosure made on October 22, 2019 was to respond to multiple media inquiries and reports. The company undertakes to continue making timely disclosures as required under Regulation 30 of LODR Regulations."
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