Moneycontrol
Aug 25, 2017 04:02 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Revealed: Here’s what happened at Infosys Board meeting that brought back Nilekani

In a two-part meeting, Nandan Nilekani told the Board that co-founder Narayana Murthy had asked him to return to the company.

 
 
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In what will go down as a historic day in Infosys’ life, several changes took place at the IT major on Thursday, including Co-founder Nandan Nilekani’s re-entry as Board chairman and the removal of several members of the Board.

CNBC-TV18 has the details on what went on inside Infosys before the decisions were announced. The announcement, which came around 8:30 pm on August 24, was preceded by a two-part meeting of the Board, the first part of which was presided over by former Chairman R Seshasayee.

According to sources, Nilekani joined after the resignations of ex-chief executive Vishal Sikka and two other members of the board- Jeffrey Lehman, John Etchemendy- were accepted.  Seshasayee also stepped down as the Board Chairman.

Sikka, the first non-co-founder CEO of Infosys, stepped down on August 18 citing continuous distractions and increasingly personal attacks on him. On Thursday, he resigned as the Executive Vice Chairman, a role in which he was to help the company transition to a new CEO.  Since February, Infosys, India’s second largest IT services company, has been embroiled in a bitter battle of allegations and counter-allegations between its co-founders, mostly Murthy, questioning corporate governance practices at the company. In a strongly worded email to the stock exchanges, the Infosys Board blamed founder NR Narayana Murthy’s “continuous assault” as the primary reason for him putting down his papers.

The people cited above also said that it was ex co-chairman Ravi Venkatesan who played a key role in talks between the founders and board on Thursday. Nilekani, who is now the Board chairman and has returned to the company after nine years, is likely to stay on “for at least two years”, sources said.  The Board had a "longish" discussion on "control issues" in board meet , reportedly before Nilekani joined the meeting.

Nilekani told the Board that founder Murthy had asked him to return to the company.

Buyout offer rejected 

Sources also said that one board member formally raised a buyout offer from global PE giant Blackstone, which proposed a ”significant minority” stake buy in Infosys.  The proposal was rejected by Infosys’ board.

 
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