11 April, 2021

Pop Goes The Fizz

Infosys failed its employees, chucked its principles, to bring back Murthy

Namas Bhojani
Pop Goes The Fizz

In these times of low values, it is tragic when a ‘preceptor’ trades high principles for short-term needs. Infosys, and its founders, have always talked of setting higher corporate governance standards. The company also scored high on various corporate governance dimensions. For instance, it was one of few Indian firms to have an independent chairman. Out of 100 companies that InGovern ana­lysed in 2012, only 10, including Infosys, had an independent director (ID) as the chairman of the board. That is no longer the case. It was also one of few Indian firms to have retirement age limits for executive directors (60 years) and non-executive directors (65 years). Finally, it was probably the only Indian company to have a policy of not allowing founders’ children to take executive roles in the firm.

When the Infosys stock price went up over 4 per cent on June 3, the first trading day after the June 1 announcement of the return of Narayana Murthy as executive chairman, there was a sense that investors were cheering. In my opinion, it was just a mark of...

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