Former Infosys Chairman R Seshasayee responded to the allegations made by NR Narayana Murthy against the former Board of Directors, snubbing remarks by the co-founder of the company as "patently offensive" and "slanderous".
Murthy had singled out Seshasayee and the Board in his address at an investors' meet on Tuesday, blaming them for not being clear on the issue of alleged governance lapses he had pointed out in the company, and misleading the shareholders instead. In support of his arguments, Murthy cited the Board's "inconsistent responses" on the issue of severance package paid to ex-CFO, Mr. Rajiv Bansal in October 2015.
Seshasayee exclaimed that the statements attributed to him by Murthy were taken out of context to make it seem like he was not telling the truth to shareholders regarding the alleged governance lapses in the company.
"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," the former Chairman was quoted by The Economic Times in a statement.
"It is regrettable that Mr. Murthy's campaign on the alleged governance lapses has continually slipped into personal attacks and slander on individual Board members," the former Chairman said in a statement.
Seshasayee said that portions Murthy attributed to Jeff Lehman and Roopa Kudva from private conversations with him have also been shockingly taken out of context. Jeff Lehman recently gave up the position of Director on Infosys board.
Former Directors defend Seshasayee
Meanwhile, Lehman defended Seshasayee as a competent Chairman. "During his tenure, Mr Seshasayee was scrupulously and tirelessly devoted to ensuring that the Board comply with all applicable principles of law and governance. For the good of Infosys, I wish Mr Murthy would stop quoting those lies as if they were reputable. For the good of Infosys, I wish Mr Murthy would stop defaming Mr Seshasayee and the other members of a Board who have served with dedication and integrity, who have turned the other cheek when slandered, and who have acted only in the best interests of the company," he said.
John Etchemendy, another former Director on Infosys Board also came out in support of Seshasayee, calling him a "man of impeccable integrity" who did not say anything in public, or private, about the severance package to Rajiv Bansal that was not in accordance to the mood of the Board.