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Nandan Nilekani Returns To Infosys As Chairman

The appointment of Nandan Nilekani comes days after Vishal Sikka resigned, saying he was unable to serve as chief executive amid a "continuous assault" by founder Narayana Murthy.

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Nandan Nilekani Returns To Infosys As Chairman

Nandan Nilekani will take over as non-executive chairman and non-independent director

Highlights

  1. Nandan Nilekani is one of the seven engineers who founded Infosys in 1981
  2. Mr Nilekani served as CEO of Infosys from 2002 to 2007
  3. He will take over as non-executive chairman with immediate effect
Mumbai: The board of Indian IT services company Infosys Ltd appointed one of its founders and former CEO Nandan Nilekani as chairman on Thursday, seeking to end a feud between management and founders that prompted its CEO to step down last week. Mr Nilekani, one of the seven engineers who founded Infosys in 1981, was its CEO from 2002 to 2007 and will take over as non-executive chairman and non-independent director with immediate effect, the company said in a statement to stock exchanges.

Infosys said Chairman R Seshasayee, former CEO Vishal Sikka and two other members had also resigned from the board, as the company tried to resolve the situation. It said Ravi Venkatesan had also resigned as co-chair, but would remain a board member.

The appointment of Mr Nilekani comes days after Mr Sikka resigned, saying he was unable to serve as chief executive amid a "continuous assault" by founder Narayana Murthy.

"It's a good development as the company has got a credible face on the board who will act as a guide, and assure clients and shareholders that critical functions and strategies will continue," said Harit Shah, IT analyst at Reliance Securities.

Mr Murthy and a few former Infosys executives have for months waged a public battle against the board of Infosys, accusing it of corporate governance lapses.

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Disagreements between the two sides included the rise in Mr Sikka's compensation, the acquisition of Israeli automation firm Panaya for $200 million and a severance package offered to a former finance chief.

The clamour for a change at the Infosys board had grown louder after Mr Sikka's departure with a group of 12 major institutional investors urging the company to invite Mr Nilekani to the board.
© Thomson Reuters 2017


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