Rejig Infosys board: Ex-CFO Balakrishnan

Former Infosys CFO V Balakrishnan on Wednesday sought restructuring of the company’s board by replacing ex-co-chairman Ravi Venkatesan and ex-audit committee chairperson Roopa Kudva.

Speaking to a wire agency, Balakrishnan said with Salil Parekh taking charge as CEO at Infosys, its chairman Nandan Nilekani should complete the board restructuring quickly and replace the earlier co-chairman and audit committee chairperson.
This will provide a clean slate board to Parekh for performing to his full capability without any distractions, Balakrishnan said.

It may be recalled that on December 9, 2017, Balakrishnan had made a similar demand and said the continuation of Venkatesan and Ku­dva on the company bo­ard looked highly untenable in the light of it filing a consent plea with Sebi over former CFO Rajiv Bansal’s Rs 17.32 crore severance pay issue.

“I think the continuation of certain board members like the erstwhile co-chairman (Venkatesan) and the audit committee chairman (Kudva) looks highly untenable in light of the current development of the company filing consent agreement with Sebi over Bansal’s severance pay case,” a media article then said quoting Balakrishnan. He then said it was critical for Infosys to restructure the board and fill it with people of high integrity and stature.

Yielding to severe pressure from key founder NR Narayana Murthy, Infosys had appointed independent board member D Sundaram as the new chairperson of the audit committee, replacing Kudva, with effect from October 24.

Murthy had stated in an address to investors in August: “Ms Roopa Kudva said that we had to sign an NDA if we wanted to know the reason! So much for shareholder transparency and democracy.” Kudva was heading the four-member committee, which included other board members Jeffrey Lehman, Ravi Venkatesan and R Seshasayee. Lehman and Seshasayee have already resigned as board members from the company.

Sundaram, who now heads the audit committee and looks at the quality of the company’s financial statements, is vice-chairman and managing director of TVS Capital Funds. He joined the Infosys board as an independent director in July 2017. Kudva, who is the India managing director of Omidyar Network, joined the Infosys board in February 2015.