Infosys’ institutional investors, who appear to be unperturbed by the clash between the company’s Board and its founders, would have been further reassured by CEO Vishal Sikka’s assertion on Tuesday that there had been no queries from clients.
“Some have written strong words of support and I felt moved. We have had six or seven emails from huge clients,” Sikka said on an investors’ call.
Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy had alleged the severance payout made to former chief financial officer Rajiv Bansal had been excessive and hinted it might be hush money. The founders are also understood to have expressed concerns on Sikka’s reworked compensation of $11 million.
The Infosys stock, however, has been remarkably resilient in the face of discord and dissension. The stock has risen in every session since February 6, save in one and on Tuesday, it closed at Rs 987.30.
Speaking to investors, Infosys chairman R Seshasayee said he had made it clear to the founders that while all suggestions from them would be received and given due respect, as would inputs from other stakeholders, the board would act in the overall interest of shareholders. “We had a frank discussion and both of us agreed we should not have interactions through the media and made a renewed commitment not to allow this to spill over into the public arena,” he said.
Seshasayee reiterated he was here to stay. “There was a suggestion that I step down but given the support of the Board I had said I do not intend on stepping down,” he asserted. Replying to a query on whether the variable part of the CEO’s compensation was flexible enough to ensure he was motivated, Seshasayee answered in the affirmative, saying the board did have the flexibility to ensure the CEO remained motivated even as it stayed faithful to the growth targets and trajectory set out.