After a letter by one of the ex-member of the board anonymously, it is Omkar Goswami, ex-member of the board as well, this time who expresses his thoughts for Narayan Murthy. Let’s hear what he says.
Respected Mr Murthy,
Why did the board agree to so many of your demands, all played out in public fora? A generous interpretation is that it respected you and wanted to arrive at a middle ground. But it appears that you have not played your part, and have publicly leveraged your lionized position to constantly shift that middle ground for extracting more concessions.
Truth be told, the board was collectively timid. So, here’s my next question: if you were at the helm, and a person representing a small proportion of Infosys’ share capital did what you have done, how would you have reacted? You would have blasted him out of the water with no quarters given.
It didn’t end there. You and your two colleagues in this war complained about Sikka’s pay, though it was performance-linked and back loaded.
You praised U B Pravin Rao, but criticized his pay as well. The list is too long to accommodate here.
What does this mean for Infosys? The company was lagging behind industry when Vishal took over. It is now in the top quartile. Per-capita revenue has grown for six successive quarters. In an extremely difficult competitive milieu, Infosys had started increasing its margins while undertaking a profound change in business from leveraging labor costs to offering all-inclusive solutions to clients. Vishal’s task was far from complete when you entered the fray. And now, thanks to you, he is leaving.
How can Infosys strengthen employee morale under these circumstances? How can it find a worthwhile replacement for Vishal with you sniping at the wings?
How can it get away from this sapping, deleterious war that has got it lower valuation and titters from the competition? How can it focus on doing business if you are readying to rearm your weapons?
You will claim that it is all for corporate governance. But why don’t I, your corporate governance disciple, believe this anymore? Nor does any other ex-independent director that I have spoken to, each of whom you respect.
Enough is enough. You have drawn first blood. Do not mortally wound the organization by persisting in your actions. Let Infosys get on with its business, heal itself from the injuries that you have inflicted and again grow shareholder value. Learn to walk away, as you had promised when handing the reins to Vishal. The corporate governance halo that was conferred upon you is shrinking. Let it not disappear.
I have respected you more than many others in the corporate world. So, pardon me for this missive. How I wish it weren’t needed.
Well friends, do you think that Omkar Goswami’s questions are valid?