Appointment 'fairly seamless sort of action': Infosys co-chairman
Newly appointed Infosys Co-Chairman Ravi Venkatesan has termed his appointment as "fairly seamless sort of action" and a continuity for an agenda that the board and the CEO has embarked upon.
"This is fairly seamless sort of action. I have been on the board for six years and it signals continuity and the need to double down on the agenda that the board has and Vishal (Sikka) has embarked on," Venkatesan told ETNow in an interview here when asked what message does his appointment sends to the stakeholders.
On Thursday last, Infosys had elevated its Independent Director Ravi Venkatesan as co-Chairman.
The move is being widely seen as a step taken by the Board to end its public spat with founders, mainly N R Narayana Murthy.
"At Infosys, we got another leadership happening concurrently which is from promoter-led company to professional board or professional CEO," Venkatesan said.
"So, we have got fairly large set of challenges ... I see, there is a heck of a lot of turbulence - headwinds and software, and things like that. In this scenario, I see myself supporting Sesha (Seshasayee) and the board. Also, working closely with Vishal Sikka on whole set of issues," he said.
"If you got to fly a plane through a storm, it is helpful to have a co-pilot in the cockpit," Venkatesan added.
Infosys is in the eye of a storm with the spat between Infosys chairman emeritus Narayana Murthy and company CEO Vishal Sikka out in the open. The promoter has raised governance issues including the pay hike of Infosys Chief Operating Officer Pravin Rao.
On the other hand, Infosys Chairman R Seshasayee said challenges bring people together.
"..I am very very proud of the fact that we have extremely cohesive board of extraordinary leaders. We converge very quickly on what needs to be done on matters of differences of viewpoints. I don't think there is any turbulence and there will be any in future," he said when asked if the issue of division of roles of chairman and co-chairman slow down decision-making.
Asked if the board was giving preferential treatment to founders, Seshasayee said "This is an institution which has been created by the deeds of this promoter group, and nobody can take away that, but at the same time there is also an independent board and we have to act like one."
When asked if Venkatesan's appointment will put an end to Founders-Board spat which the market witnessed in last few weeks, Sheshasayee said there are bound to be differences in viewpoints, but the company values founders' feedback, one instance of late being the issue of Pravin Rao's pay hike.