Infosys’s three board members who resigned last week came together to defend themselves and the board. Seshasayee described Murthy’s campaign against him and the board he led as regrettable.
Infosys’s three board members who resigned last week, including then chairman RSeshasayee, came together on Friday to defend themselves and the board against what they saw as co-founder N R Narayana Murthy’s “personal attacks” and “patently false and slanderous accusations”.
They also made a plea to him to put a stop to the persistent campaign against them. Seshasayee described Murthy’s campaign against him and the board he led as regrettable and said he was at a loss to understand the motivations “for this persistent vendetta against me”.
He said Murthy’s statement to investors on Tuesday misleadingly attributed words to him that were taken completely out of context, making it appear that he was not stating the truth. “I wish to categorically state that I have always been candid and truthful in all my statements concerning Infosys.
To quote an anonymous whistleblower letter that alleged many things, which have subsequently been proved baseless and false through multiple investigations by highly respected counsel, in order to give an impression to the audience that I lied to the shareholders, is patently offensive,” he said in a written statement.
Seshasayee said the words that Murthy attributed to board members Prof Jeffrey Lehman and Roopa Kudva from their private conversations with him were also “egregiously taken out of context”.
Murthy had said on the investor call that different board members had offered different explanations for why former CFO Rajiv Bansal was given a big severance pay. He had said Lehman declined to disclose the reasons saying it was confidential, and that Kudva had demanded an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) in case the founders wanted to know the reason.
He also said Seshasayee had told them the big payment was made “because they (the board) felt generous”.
Murthy had also quoted the whistleblower as saying that Seshasayee had lied about the reasons for payments made to Bansal.
Lehman noted that he had served under several different chairmen (including Murthy and K VKamath), and said Seshasayee, during his tenure, was scrupulously and tirelessly devoted to ensuring that the board comply with all applicable principles of law and governance.
Former board member John Etchemendy said Seshasayee is a man of impeccable integrity.
Etchemendy said he is fully conversant with the details of the Bansal issue and he “can categorically state that at no point did Sesh say anything in public or, to the best of my knowledge, in private that was untrue or did not reflect the collective view of the board”.