Is Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka facing boardroom battles on salary issues?

Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka denied media speculations on boardroom battles or spat between promoters and management on salaries. Vishal Sikka in an email sent to two lakh techies urged employees to focus on coding software.

“As we head into the second half of Q4 (fourth quarter), let us focus on the execution of our strategy and not get distracted by media speculation that is designed to stir up gossip or rehash old rumours or speculate on the unknowns,” said Sikka in an e-mail to the IT major’s 199,763 employees worldwide.

Cautioning his techies over media reports on H-1B visas or anything that questions the company’s commitment to governance, integrity and values to generate headlines and create buzz, Sikka said the management was dedicated to transform the company even in the unprecedented new context.

“There is no guessing on our commitment, passion and dedication to transform this great company, even within the unprecedented new context that we find ourselves in. We are doing this. We will do this. Together!” Sikka asserted.

“Over the last few weeks, many of you have reached out with your observations on the things going on around us, the signs of a changing context for Infosys and the IT services industry, and in particular the Indian IT services industry,” noted Sikka in the e-mail, a copy of which has been accessed by IANS.

In a related development, the company denied any governance lapse alleged by some sections of the media in reports on purported rifts among its founders, the board and the management.

“The company is in the process of a formidable transformation journey. The Board is aligned with the strategic direction of Sikka and is appreciative of the initiatives taken by him in pursuance of this transformation,” said Infosys Chairman R. Seshasayee in a statement on Thursday night.

Asserting that Sikka and the Board were keen to further accelerate the progress and achieve more shareholder value increase as the company resumed industry leading performance on many parameters, Seshasayee said the management would remain un-distracted by media reports and speculations.

“The issues highlighted by the media — CEO compensation, appointment of certain Independent Directors and severance pay relating to former employees — are several months old, on which the company’s position has been repeatedly explained,” recalled the Chairman.

Admitting that there could be differences in views on these matters, Seshasayee said they were approved by shareholders and due disclosures were made on them.

“The Board receives several inputs from various stakeholders, including the promoters. The Board gives serious consideration to all these inputs,” he noted.

Stating that the company had an independent and professional board, the Chairman said they have no interest other than commitment to enable the great institution, built by its iconic founders, to succeed.

“The members of the Board are engaged with the company and spend considerable time on its affairs. The Board has full confidence in the leadership of Seshasayee to steer it in these challenging times,” said Jeff Lehman, the senior most member of the board and Chairman of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee.

Observing that the board appreciated and respected inputs from the founders, the company said it was committed to fulfilling its fiduciary responsibility to act independently and in the overall interest of the shareholders.

“To formalise this process, the board has recently appointed Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, corporate governance experts, to receive from promoters and other key stakeholders various inputs, evaluate them and make recommendations to it,” added the statement.