Infosys to start another round of shareholder outreach in coming weeks

Nandan Nilekani. BS photo by Saggere Radhakrishna
Infosys will hold another round of outreach to shareholders over the next few weeks under the chairmanship on Nandan Nilekani and expects to have a complete report by January next year.

Nilekani, the architect of Aadhaar, had taken over the reins of the embattled Infosys in August this year following months of acrimony between the founders and the then management team of CEO Vishal Sikka and chairman R Seshasayee.

"On the shareholders consultation, one round of meetings has happened with shareholders and we have paused that. Second round will start after our results and we expect to complete the shareholders outreach either through meetings or through online questionnaire," Nilekani said at a recent investor call.

He added that a full report is expected to be ready by the time the company announces its third quarter financial results in January next year.

"We had also said that the Nominations and Remuneration Committee would present a long-term governance structure. They have presented a preliminary one in the board meeting today. We hope to have a final one by the time we meet in January," he added.

Founders, led by N R Narayana Murthy, had earlier this year questioned the company on a host of issues including whistleblower complaints of irregularities with Infosys' USD 200 million Panaya acquisition and severance pay to former executives.

Murthy had demanded that the full report by Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher on whistleblower allegations pertaining to the Panaya deal be made public.

This was one of the biggest reasons for the protracted face off between the founders and the management that eventually resulted in board overhaul in August this year.

Nilekani, who is also among the seven co-founders, began a round of consultations with clients and stakeholders to determine the future course of action, after taking over as the non-executive Chairman.

Infosys, which announced its second quarter earnings last week -- the first one after Nilekani took charge -- has however given a clean chit to the controversial Panaya acquisition, saying there was no merit in the allegations of wrongdoing.

Infosys also asserted that its review had confirmed that "appropriate" and "timely disclosures" were indeed made on severance payments to the former CFO.

The company also said its management team had undertaken a comprehensive strategy review over the past weeks -- an exercise entailing a look at all programmes, acceleration of execution plans and prioritising key areas of investments across services and software portfolios.

"An important outcome of the exercise is a reassertion that our strategic direction will continue to be driven with a portfolio of market relevant design, consulting and technology services, enabled by software," Infosys has said.

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