Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy has expressed regret over his decision to quit the company in 2014 and not having listened to other co-founders of the firm. “A lot of my founder-colleagues told me not to leave Infosys in 2014. Stay a few years. Generally, I find that I am a very emotional person. A lot of my decisions are based on idealism and probably I should have listened to them,” Murthy said in an interview with CNBC-TV18.
Murthy’s comments are likely to cause further alarm considering his not-so-harmonious relationship with the company’s current board and management. Over the last three years, there has been considerable strain in the relationship between the Infosys Board headed R Seshasayee and Murthy.
Murthy has questioned the decisions of the Infosys board which relate to corporate governance practices especially on the severance packages paid to former CFO Rajiv Bansal and a few acquisitions by the company. He also raised concerns about the current CEO Vishal Sikka’s salary.
Murthy’s entry back into Infosys as executive chairman in June, 2013, and his final exit in October 2014 were equally dramatic considering the circumstances surrounding these developments.
Murthy came back as executive chairman in 2013 following several questions on the performance of then Infosys CEO, SD Shibulal. Murthy in a letter to Infosys employees in June, 2013, had said he came back to the company in an executive role following a request from the then board chairman K V Kamath. “Given the board’s keenness and my parental attachment to Infosys, I have accepted his request to be back as the executive chairman after a gap of seven years,” he had said back then.
The mandate was to steer Infosys to a high growth path and also scout for a new CEO. However, Murthy’s come back also witnessed the entry of his son, Rohan Murty as his executive assistant. The period also saw the exit of many senior executives including the likes of V Balakrishnan, Ashok Vemuri and B G Srinivas. Murthy stepped down in October, 2014, after Vishal Sikka took over as CEO in June, 2014. The Infosys board, however, has consistently maintained that it has enjoyed a cordial relationship with Murthy and regularly seek his inputs.